Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday tendered his resignation from the post after meeting Governor Phagu Chauhan. In a letter to the governor, he asked to dissolve the 16th Bihar assembly. The governor accepted the resignation and asked Nitish Kumar to continue as the caretaker chief minister till the new NDA government is sworn in.
The tenure of the current Bihar legislative assembly is scheduled to end on Novermber 29. On Sunday, the NDA allies will meet and after a consensus on the chief minister post, it will stake claim to form the government.
Earlier today, leaders all the four constituents of the NDA Kumars JD(U), BJP, HAM and Vikassheel Insaan Party had met informally at 1, Anney Marg, the Chief Minister's official residence, where it was decided that all the newly elected NDA MLAs will meet on Sunday and formally elect Kumar as their leader.
Despite the BJP emerging as the largest party in the ruling alliance with 74 seats, 31 more than the JD(U), the top leadership of the saffron party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has emphatically endorsed Kumar as the next chief minister.
He was declared the ruling coalition's chief ministerial candidate much before the election process had started.
Speculation is rife that the BJP might push for an EBC or a Dalit as a Deputy CM though it was not clear whether the insistence was on replacing veteran leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who has been holding the post for the most part since 2005, or replicating the experiment in adjoining Uttar Pradesh where two leaders share the post.
One of the names doing the rounds for the Deputy CM's post is that of Kameshwar Chaupal, a Dalit with deep roots in the Sangh who was famously chosen for laying the foundation stone at the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya in the 1990s.
Supporters of Chaupal, a member of the legislative council, lent credence to speculations as they were noticed chanting slogans to the effect on the streets of the city.
Meanwhile, the NDA which has three more MLAs than the magic figure of 122, received a shot in the arm when Independent legislator from Chakai Sumit Singh met the chief minister and extended support.
Singh is the son of Narendra Singh, a former state minister and powerful Rajput leader from Jamui district.
(With PTI inputs)