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Nitish Again Dumps BJP; With RJD, Cong Support, Here’s How Numbers Stack Up in Bihar Assembly

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: August 09, 2022, 17:58 IST

Patna, India

Nitish Kumar submitted a support letter of 160 MLAs to Governor Phagu Chauhan. (Photo:ANI)

Nitish Kumar submitted a support letter of 160 MLAs to Governor Phagu Chauhan. (Photo:ANI)

After resigning as Bihar CM, Nitish Kumar said that all MPs and MLAs of JD(U) are at a consensus that they should leave the NDA

After splitting with ally BJP for a second time in eight years, Nitish Kumar on Tuesday resigned as the Chief Minister of Bihar and is set to return to power with the help of Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Left parties which have already declared open support for the Janata Dal (U).

Kumar submitted his resignation to Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan at Raj Bhawan in Patna. “All MPs and MLAs are at a consensus that we should leave the NDA,” he said after submitting his resignation to the Bihar Governor. The JD(U) leader submitted a support letter of 160 MLAs to the Governor.

Sources said that Nitish Kumar briefed JD(U) MLAs the reason behind splitting from the NDA-led alliance in the meeting held earlier on Tuesday.

Senior RJD leader Upendra Kushwaha in a tweet congratulated Kumar for leading a “new coalition in new form," implicitly acknowledging the split and embracing the RJD-led `Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) to continue in office.

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A meeting of the RJD-led Grand Alliance, comprising the Left and the Congress, also took place at Rabri Devi’s house, across the street from the chief minister’s residence where all the MLAs are said to have signed a letter of support to Kumar.

Numbers Game in Bihar

Tejashwi Yadav’s aggressive campaign in the 2020 Assembly elections helped the RJD to emerge as the single largest party but the BJP-led alliance crossed the magic number and formed the government under the leadership of Nitish Kumar.

After the death of an RJD MLA, the strength of the Assembly reduced to 242. The magic number in the Bihar Assembly is 122. At present, this is how the parties rank: RJD (79), BJP (77), JD(U) (45), Congress (19), CPI(M-L) (12), CPI (4), Hindustani Awam Morcha (S) (4), AIMIM (1), Independent (1).

Kumar has received the support of the letter of support from 160 MLAs- RJD (79), JDU (45), Congress (19), Left parties (16) and one Independent legislator.

Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (S), which has four MLAs in the Bihar Assembly, also extended an unconditional support to Nitish Kumar, taking the numbers of new “Mahagathbandhan" to 164.

Read More: Together, But Not Forever: A Look at JD(U) Chief Nitish Kumar’s Allies, Break-Ups Over the years

Why Nitish Kumar ditched BJP

Nitish Kumar is understood to have told party legislators and MPs, at a meeting he convened at his official residence today, that he had been driven against the wall by the BJP which tried to weaken his JD(U), first by propping up Chirag Paswan’s rebellion and later through the party’s former national president RCP Singh, news agency PTI reported.

Singh was made a cabinet minister at the Centre without Kumar’s explicit agreement. Consequently, when his term as a Rajya Sabha member ended, the JD(U) refused to give him another term as an MP, thus ending his stint as cabinet minister as well.

Following this, rumours of a split in the JD(U) engineered by Singh’s supporters surfaced. Relations between the BJP and the JD(U) have been worsening for quite some time in the wake of disagreements over a host of issues including caste census, population control and the Agnipath’ defence recruitment scheme.

(With PTI inputs)

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first published:August 09, 2022, 16:37 IST
last updated:August 09, 2022, 17:58 IST