Although Janata Dal United has fewer seats than the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Kumar asked to be named the Chief Minister.
Patna: Hours after announcing his party’s departure from the alliance with BJP and resigning as the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav met Governor Phagu Chauhan on Tuesday evening and staked claim to form the government.
Although Janata Dal United has fewer seats than the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Kumar asked to be named the Chief Minister, an understanding, sources said, already discussed before the initiation of Mahagathbandhan 2.0. Sources said Lalu Prasad’s son Tejashwi Prasad will serve as the Deputy Chief Minister. After meeting the Chauhan, Kumar said the Grand Alliance will have seven parties and one Independent.
Meanwhile, the BJP accused Nitish Kumar of “betraying the mandate of the people” by dumping a partner mid-term. However, this is not time Nitish Kumar has ditched an ally mid-term. Earlier, his party had broken the alliance with JDU and joined hands with BJP barely two years after winning the state election under the Mahagathbandhan banner.
Nitish’s move to dump the BJP came amid an ongoing rift between JDU and BJP, with leaders of both the parties openly criticising each other on public forums. In fact, some time back, Nitish Kumar had said that although the Centre had refused to conduct a caste census, in Bihar, the counting of castes would take place. Tejashwi Yadav had backed the Chief Minister fully on this.
Things became worse when Nitish Kumar came to know that Union Home Minister Amit Shah was allegedly trying to break away JDU MLAs and induct them in BJP’s folds. Tension scaled up in ruling coalition in Bihar on Sunday as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called a meeting of all MPs and MLAs of Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday. The rift between the BJP and JDU comes days after the central government offered minimum representation of JD(U) MPs as Union ministers. The controversy related to RCP Singh has also led to a friction within the alliance as several JD(U) leaders directly attacked the BJP.