Pop­u­lar In­dian CM re­signs af­ter rift with ‘cor­rupt’ ally

New power-equa­tion in the off­ing as op­po­si­tion BJP ex­tends ‘un­con­di­tional’ sup­port

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Patna, In­dia - The Chief Min­is­ter of the east­ern In­dian state of Bi­har on Wed­nes­day re­signed from the post fol­low­ing a rift with his al­liance part­ner over cor­rup­tion and fi­nan­cial em­bez­zle­ment.

Bi­har Chief Min­is­ter Ni­tish Ku­mar said he ‘can’t work in the cur­rent cir­cum­stances’ fol­low­ing cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions against Deputy Chief Min­is­ter Te­jashwi Ya­dav, the son of Lalu Prasad, who is also fac­ing cor­rup­tion charges in a multi-mil­lion dol­lar fod­der scam.

“I have been do­ing my best to pro­vide good gov­er­nance... But the cir­cum­stances have so de­vel­oped that it was dif­fi­cult for a per­son like me to con­tinue to be in power. That is why I met the Gov­er­nor and gave my res­ig­na­tion,” Ni­tish Ku­mar told re­porters out­side Raj Bha­van, bring­ing to an end the 20 month old coali­tion of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress.

While Ni­tish Ku­mar is head­ing the JD-U, Lalu Prasad is the chief of RJD.

Ni­tish Ku­mar is a leader who en­joys a huge pop­u­lar­ity for his pro­bity and pro­pri­ety, and was in­stru­men­tal in halt­ing the rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) jug­ger­naut in 2015 Bi­har polls.

Ni­tish Ku­mar, who al­ways had a bit­ter­sweet re­la­tion­ship with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, re­ceived ac­co­lades from the lat­ter in a tweet in the evening.

‘Many many con­grat­u­la­tions to Ni­tish Ku­mar for join­ing the fight against cor­rup­tion. 125 crore (1.25bn) cit­i­zens of the coun­try wel­come and sup­port this hon­est move’, the Prime Min­is­ter tweeted. ‘It is the need of the hour to rise above po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences for the bright fu­ture of Bi­har and unite in the fight against cor­rup­tion’, he added.

Later on Wed­nes­day evening, BJP de­clared ‘un­con­di­tional sup­port’ for Ni­tish Ku­mar. “The BJP has de­cided to sup­port him. We will sup­port the gov­ern­ment formed un­der him. We will in­form the Gov­er­nor also,” BJP’s Bi­har state leader Sushil Modi was quoted as say­ing by lo­cal me­dia.

The BJP leader, how­ever, main­tained si­lence over the kind of sup­port or place that would be given to Ni­tish Ku­mar, and said fur­ther de­ci­sions will be taken later. “We have ac­cepted him as a leader, and fur­ther de­ci­sions will be taken later,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, Sushil Modi is likely to be­come the deputy chief min­is­ter in the new gov­ern­ment to be formed again un­der Ni­tish Ku­mar.

Asked ear­lier whether he would take sup­port of the BJP to run the gov­ern­ment, Ku­mar avoided a di­rect an­swer but threw enough hints that this can­not be ruled out.

“What has to hap­pen has hap­pened. What will hap­pen now you keep watch­ing. We will def­i­nitely keep Bi­har’s in­ter­est in mind and do what is good for Bi­har and its peo­ple,” he said.

In the house of 243 seats, JDU has 71 mem­bers, RJD 80 and the Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance led by the BJP 58.

This file photo shows Ni­tish Ku­mar with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi (right) dur­ing a meet­ing in New Delhi

Lalu Prasad

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