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Bihar to get a new chief minister after Nitish resigns

LiveMint logoLiveMint 19-05-2014 Anuja

New Delhi: Bihar is set to get a new chief minister after Nitish Kumar announced on Monday that the members of the legislative party of the Janata Dal (United) or JD (U) has accepted his resignation from the post and authorized him to choose a successor.

Kumar had resigned as chief minister of Bihar on Saturday owning moral responsibility for the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha elections, winning just two of the 40 seats in the state.

“They (party members) have understood and accepted what I have said. They have... authorized me to elect a new leader,” Kumar told reporters in Patna. “There is no question (of going back on my decision). Someone else will be chosen and the governor would be duly informed so as to start the process constitutionally. We will stake our claim. From here, my duties have increased even more.”

The 63-year-old socialist leader has stepped down from the chief minister’s post after an eight-and-a-half year stint. While his regime has been credited with reviving the state’s economy and improving development indicators, some have criticized his record during the second term as chief minister for failing to cut through the red tape of bureaucracy.

Earlier in the day, the party’s national president Sharad Yadav too had said that Kumar’s decision was “difficult but final”. A crucial meeting to decide the same took place in Patna on Monday, which was attended by party legislators and senior leaders including Yadav.

On Monday, Kumar dismissed BJP’s claim that some JD(U) MLAs have offered support to the BJP. “Not even one MLA of ours is with them. Every MLA is standing with a lot of hard work and conviction. JD(U) has enough strength to stake the claim and it will do it,” Kumar told reporters.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Kumar’s former deputy Sushil Modi had claimed last week that 50 JD(U) MLAs were planning to leave the party. Kumar’s government has been unstable ever since he parted ways with the BJP, forcing him to form a minority government with 115 members in the 243-member assembly. The JD (U) had then proved its majority on the floor of the House with the support of four Congress legislators.

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