NEW DELHI: Nitish Kumar on Wednesday resigned as Bihar chief minister, hours after ally Lalu Prasad ruled out resignation of his son Tejashwi Yadav, who has been charged by the CBI in a corruption case.
Nitish took the surprise decision at a meeting of party MLAs at his residence. Immediately after the meeting, Nitish Kumar drove down to meet Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at the Raj Bhavan and handed over his resignation.
“It’s not possible to work in such circumstances. I tried to save Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) to the best of my abilities. Had talks with both Lalu and Tejashwi,” Nitish Kumar told reporters after resignation.
“I never asked anyone for resignation. But I did ask them to explain the corruption charges against them. Even that explanation did not come,” he added.
“I had no option but to quit as Bihar CM. In taking this decision, I have listened to my conscience,” Nitish said.
“So many accusations have been levelled against me. But I kept working,” Nitish said, adding, “When I supported demonetisation and actions against benami property I was accused of tilting towards NDA.”
“How could I support benami property allegations against Tejashwi? I asked him to explain if there was a conspiracy to frame him. Since he and Lalu didn’t explain anything, I had no option but to step down,” he said Kumar has recently called on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to intervene and convince RJD leadership that Tejashwi must resign in the interest of the alliance and smooth functioning of the government.
While meeting Gandhi, Kumar had cited as how the former had tore the ordinance exempting politicians from facing corruption charges.
Bihar Governor accepted Nitish Kumar ‘s decision and asked him to continue as caretaker CM.
Earlier today, RJD president Lalu Prasad tried to shift the onus of keeping the Grand Alliance intact on Nitish Kumar.
Blaming the BJP for the ‘present crisis’ in the state, Lalu Prasad said, “The BJP is eagerly eyeing the return of Nitish Kumar with them … I am watching everything.”
“We formed the Grand Alliance with a lot of difficulties and made Nitish Kumar the chief minister for five years … But if somebody does not wish to keep bearing the load of it then he should know about it,” Lalu said.