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Main News
Nitish quits NDA, to take oath as Grand Alliance CM Wednesday
 
Patna: Delivering a jolt to the BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday dumped the NDA led by the saffron outfit and joined hands with the RJD-headed Grand Alliance and is scheduled to take fresh oath as leader of a new coalition government on Wednesday.

In fast-paced political developments, Kumar met Governor Phagu Chauhan and staked his claim to form a government, with a letter of support from a majority of legislators in the Assembly.

“The swearing-in ceremony of Honorable Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister will be held tomorrow at 2 pm at Raj Bhavan,” the RJD tweeted on its official handle.

The dye was cast at a meeting of the MPs and MLAs of the JD(U) at 1 Anne Marg - the official residence of the state Chief Minister - in the afternoon where Kumar took the decision to walk away from NDA. It is being claimed that all MPs and legislators had unanimously supported the decision to snap ties with BJP and walk away from NDA.

"One after the other leader of my party requested me to sever ties with the BJP. So, I took the decision," Kumar told the media, accusing the BJP of trying to "damage" his party.

Kumar, after tendering his resignation, drove straight to 10 Circular Road, the official residence of RJD leader and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi. He discussed with Rabri Devi and Tejaswi Prasad Yadav, leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly about the modalities for the formation of a new government with the Grand Alliance.

Later, accompanied by Tejaswai, and other Grand Alliance partners, and armed with letters of support from 164 lawmakers in the present 242-member House, Kumar called on Chauhan again and formally staked his claim to form the government.

The seven-party Grand Alliance comprises JD(U), RJD, Congress, CPI(ML), HAM, CPI(M) and CPI.

Apart from his party's 45 legislators, Kumar has claimed the support of 79 lawmakers of RJD, 19 of Congress, 12 of CPI(ML), 4 of HAM, 2 each of CPI and CPI(M) and one Independent.

JD(U) president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh had told media persons before the meeting of party public representatives that there would be discussions in the wake of the RCP episode. Former JD(U) president RCP Singh resigned from the party on Saturday evening following a show cause notice issued to him by the leadership seeking an explanation for "amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income" from 2013 to 2022.

RCP Singh had quit the JD(U) alleging that some party leaders were constantly humiliating him and had crossed all limits.

JD(U) president Singh had said that his party was no more prepared to tolerate the Chirag model. RCP Singh was being prepared as Chirag model by BJP to damage JD(U) as had been done in the 2020 Bihar assembly Elections, he had alleged.

LJP MP Chirag Paswan, despite claiming himself to be part of NDA, had put up candidates against JD(U) in the 2020 Bihar Assembly polls, damaging its electoral prospect and bringing down the JD(U) tally from 71 to 43.

Nitish Kumar's decision to dump the BJP and join forces with the Grand Alliance, earned him praise from Tejaswi Yadav, who called it a "very bold decision", and accused the BJP of having a track record of "downsizing and finishing" its own allies.

The RJD leader, while responding to a query about the possibility of Nitish becoming the PM candidate of the opposition in 2024, paving the way for him to become the CM of Bihar, said it "totally depended" on Nitish, who was standing beside him. Nitish, however, promptly ducked the question.

Yadav said Kumar was a socialist and all leaders including him and his father RJD chief Lalu Prasad were part of the bigger socialist family in the country. Sometimes some issues cropped up among brothers in the family.

On the other hand, Union Minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh lambasted Nitish, alleging that his selfishness caused the breakup of the NDA alliance in Bihar.

"it is openly being discussed that Nitish Kumar was in the race for the prime minister's post," said Giriraj, adding that his ambition wouldn't be fulfilled by remaining in the NDA. So he walked out and moved to the grand alliance.Refuting the charge that the BJP was weakening its alliance partner JD(U), Giriraj said it was BJP which, even having more strength than Kumar, made him the chief minister.

State BJP President Sanjay Jaiswal accused Kumar of having "backstabbed" the saffron outfit as well as the people's mandate of 2020 and said people of the state would never "forgive and forget" what Kumar has done and teach him a lesson in the future.

He said the BJP - keeping the promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home minister Amit Shah during the 2020 Assembly Elections - made Nitish Kumar Chief Minister even after his party JD(U) bagged only 43 seats as against BJP's 74.

As it is, Chief Minister Kumar had also snapped ties with the BJP in 2013 when the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was declared as the saffron outfit's PM candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

He contested the 2015 assembly polls by forming a Grand Alliance with the RJD and the Congress and emerged victorious.

But, Kumar did another political u-turn less than 20 months later, as he deserted the Grand Alliance and rejoined hands with the BJP to form the NDA government


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