Ending months of speculation over the future of Grand Alliance in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday stepped down from his post in a meeting with Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. Nitish Kumar had left a meeting of the Janata Dal(United) legislature party midway to meet the Governor. The Governor, who had another programme scheduled for 6.15 PM, altered his schedule to meet the Chief Minister. The resignation came hours after RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav reiterating that Tejashwi would not resign. He also stressed that even Nitish had not sought the resignation of his deputy, seeking to put the ball in Nitish's court to come out and publicly demand his ouster.
Nitish Kumar quits as Bihar Chief Minister LIVE UPDATES:
* 12:25 am: RJD leaders will meet 11:00 am on Thursday to stake claim to form govt
* 12: 10 am: Nitish Kumar stakes claim to form government in Bihar in meeting with Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi
* 12: 02 am: Have asked time to meet Governor. Being the single largest part, we will stake claim to form government. JD(U) MLAs who got elected on anti-BJP plank will support us: Tejashwi Yadav, RJD
* 11:59 pm: Nitish Kumar, other NDA leaders meet Governor to stake claim to form government in Bihar
* 11:34 pm: PM Modi to attend Nitish Kumar's swearing in ceremony tomorrow
* 11:30 pm: Nitish Kumar to stake claim to form govt in midnight meeting with Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi
* 11:12 pm: Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi discharged from hospital, reaches Raj Bhavan
* 10:43 pm: Sushil Modi to become deputy CM in Bihar
* 10:31 pm: Nitish Kumar to take oath as Bihar CM tomorrow 5 pm. 14 minister each from BJP and JD(U) to be sworn in.
* 10:10 pm: Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi admitted to hospital due to nose infection
* 10 pm: BJP hands over letter of support to Nitish Kumar
* 9:55 pm: Jitan Ram Manjhi reaches Nitish's residence
* 9:48 pm: BJP MLAs reach Nitish Kumar's residence where he will be elected NDA leader in Bihar
Bihar: Sushil Modi, Nityanand Rai and other BJP MLAs reach Nitish Kumar's residence in Patna for a meeting of JDU-BJP MLAs pic.twitter.com/n9P6JSSPot— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2017
* 9: 33 pm: Monsoon session of Bihar Assembly, scheduled from Friday, cancelled
* 9:25 pm: JD(U) and BJP MLAs to meet Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, Nitish Kumar to stake claim to form govt tonight
* 9:21 pm: I wholeheartedly thank PM Narendra Modi on his reaction through twitter to our decision: Nitish Kumar
Also Read: Lalu Yadav mocks Nitish Kumar’s ‘anti-corruption’ stance, says CM prime accused in murder case
* 9:17 pm: Will form govt with JD(U) in Bihar, Nitish Kumar will be the Chief Minister: Sushil Modi, BJP
* 9:05 pm: Nityanand Rai Ji and I called Nitish Ji. BJP decides to support him, will support the govt formed under him. Will inform Guv also: Sushil Modi, BJP
* 9:05 pm: BJP announces unconditional support to Nitish Kumar
* 8:24 pm: CP Joshi was informed at the Guv's house, he asked Kumar to wait. Joshi said he'll get back after a word with RG & Sonia Gandhi: Sources
* 8:23 pm: Mahagathbandhan was given a 5 year mandate by people of Bihar. We shall continue to strive the mandate given is fully respected: Randeep Surjewala, Congress
* 8:22 pm: We are deeply disappointed by the news of Nitish Kumar's resignation. Congress respect Nitish Kumar as a leader: Randeep Surjewala, Congress
* 8:21 pm: Nitish Kumar did not inform the Congress before resigning: Sources
* 8:17 pm: We are not in favour of mid-term polls, a three-member committee has been formed in Bihar which will give its report to Central leadership: JP Nadda, Union Minister, after BJP Parliamentary board meeting
* 8: 12 pm: I did not cause any grief to Nitish: Lalu Yadav
* 8:05 pm: All MLAs of mahagathbandhan should sit together to elect new CM, neither will Nitish ji nor Tejashwi will sit in the meeting: Lalu Yadav
* 8:04 pm: But this will not happen as the deal with BJP has already been done: Lalu Yadav
* 8:03 pm: I appeal to Nitish ji that MLAs of JD(U), RJD and Congress should sit together and choose next CM: Lalu Yadav
* 8:00 pm: He (Nitish) is hand in glove with BJP and Sangh (RSS): Lalu Yadav
* 8: 00 pm: This is the report card of our zero tolerance leader and younger brother: Lalu Yadav
* 7:59 pm: Cognizance has also been taken against Nitish in this case: Lalu Yadav
* 7: 53 pm: There is a case under Section 302 on Nitish Kumar ji: Lalu Yadav, RJD
* 7:51 pm: I talked to Nitish ji last night and he did not asked for Tejashwi's resignation. He said we needed to clarify to public and there was no need to hurry: Lalu Yadav, RJD
* 7:51 pm: Nitish had said that he would not join hands with the BJP. He had said that he wanted to build a "Sangh-mukt" Bharat: Lalu Yadav, RJD
* 7:37 pm: Three senior leaders of Bihar, including me, will apprise the central leadership of the wishes of party MLAs: Sushil Modi, BJP
* 7:36 pm: We are not in favour of mid-term elections: Sushil Modi, BJP
* 7: 27 pm: Bihar BJP MLAs meeting at Sushil Modi's residence in Patna
* 7:26 pm: Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar arrive for BJP Parliamentary board meeting in Delhi. Sources say latest Bihar development could come up during discussions
* 7: 14 pm: It is the need of the hour and also the country's demand to rise above political differences to unite and fight against corruption for the bright future of the country and Bihar: Modi
* 7:13 pm: Congratulations to Nitish Kumar ji for joining the fight against corruption. 125 crore people are welcoming and supporting the honesty: PM Narendra Modi tweets
* 07: 10 pm: We did not lave Nitish ji, he left us: Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP
* 7: 10 pm: This alliance was neither based on ideology nor cooperation but on fear of BJP: Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP
* 7: 07 pm: I informed RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Congress leadership before meeting the Governor: Nitish
* 7:04 pm: I am not blaming anyone, I just could not continue: Nitish Kumar
* 7:03 pm: My commitment is towards Bihar and its people: Nitish Kumar
* 7:01 pm: Governor has accpeted my resignation and has asked me to continue for now: Nitish Kumar
* 6: 57 pm: Gandhi ji always said that 'need will be fulflilled but greed will not be fulfilled': Nitish Kumar
* 6: 57 pm: I tried everything to unite the Opposition amid the current political scenario: Nitish Kumar
* 6: 56 pm: There was no lack of communication: Nitish Kumar
* 6:55 pm: I listened to my inner conscience: Nitish Kumar
* 6:54 pm: The situation had reached to the level that it was not even possible to work anymore: Nitish Kumar
* 6:53 pm: In the light of the things that came out, it was not possible for me to continue in the mahagathbandan govt: Nitish Kumar
* 6: 52 pm: I did not ask for Tejashwi's resigntion, I asked them to put the facts before the public: Nitish Kumar
* 6:51 pm: I followed "gathbandhan dharam" as much as it was possible: Nitish
* 6:50 pm: For more than 20 months, I tried to do as much as possible: Nitish
* 6:48 pm: Nitish leaves Raj Bhavan, to address media
* 6:42 pm: Nitish Kumar submits his resignation to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi
* 6:35 pm: Nitish Kumar reaches Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi
Patna: #Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has reached Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2017
* 6:32 pm: Nitish Kumar leaves his residence for meeting with the Governor
* 6:30 pm: Sources tell India TV that Nitish Kumar may offer his resignation to the Governor during his meeting today
The meeting comes as the JD(U) indicated that the issue of deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav's resignation has divided the party with some seeking the sacking of the RJD chief’s son while others argued that resignation only on the basis of FIR is not justified and that its outcome should decide his future. Tejashwi is in the middle of a controversy after the CBI filed an FIR against him as an accused in land-for-hotels case.
Speaking to India TV ahead of the JD(U) legislature party meeting in Patna, party MLA Poonam Yadav said a decision on Tejashwi's future in the Bihar government headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should be taken only after probe is completed.
"Lalu and Tejashwi are right, there is no need to resign on the basis of an FIR and decision should only be taken after the probe is completed. The matter dates back to the time when Tejashwi was just a minor. Resignation has not been sought from the Dy CM. There is lack of communication between the leaders of the three parties (coalition partners RJD, JDU and Congress). If the alliance breaks, it will also harm the JD(U)," Yadav said.
Taking a different line from his fellow MLA, another JDU leader said the Grand Alliance's win in 2015 Assembly election was due to Nitish Kumar's clean image. "Nitish was the face and the win was because of that. Now the top leadership has to take a decision on the future (of the alliance)," MLA Dadan Pahalwan said.
JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh was more forthcoming in his remarks and said the RJD would've faltered had Nitish not been the CM face in the 2015 election.
"The win in 2015 election was due to Nitish Kumar. If he had not been the CM face, RJD would've realised its stature," Singh said.
Prasad, who was speaking after a meeting of the RJD legislature party at the 10, Circular Road residence of Rabri Devi, said, "The RJD legislators will discharge their functions under the leadership of Tejaswi Yadav and Rabri Devi in the state assembly and legislative council respectively."