Nitish Kumar neither confirms nor denies candidature for PM
'Leave all these talks (for now),' Nitish Kumar said and laughed when he was asked his name being pitched as Opposition's prime ministerial candidate
Patna: After he snapped ties with the BJP-led NDA, Nitish Kumar on Tuesday neither denied nor confirmed his name being pitched as a prime ministerial candidate for the 2024 general elections.
"Leave all these talks (for now)," Nitish Kumar said and laughed when he was asked about him being pitched as Opposition's prime ministerial candidate.
In a day of fast-moving political developments, Nitish Kumar twice met Governor Phagu Chauhan, first to hand in his resignation as NDA chief minister and then after being elected leader of the RJD-led 'Mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) to stake claim for the top job in the state once again. Kumar said he submitted a list of 164 MLAs to the governor who will decide when the oath-taking can take place.
The effective strength of the state Assembly is 242 and the magic figure is 122.
After a JD(U) meeting where ally BJP was accused of backstabbing, Kumar drove to Raj Bhavan to tender his resignation. Later, Kumar drove to the residence of former Chief Minister Rabri Devi, just across the street, where all leaders of the grand alliance, comprising RJD, Congress and the Left, had gathered.
Kumar, who was accompanied by JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan, spent nearly half an hour at Rabri Devi's residence. He returned along with Leader of the Opposition and his former deputy Tejashwi Yadav, who was armed with a letter of support to Kumar. About 15 minutes later, Kumar met the Governor again to stake claim for forming a new government, this time accompanied by Yadav and senior colleagues in the JD(U) besides former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi whose four MLA-strong Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) has expressed unconditional support to the new formation.
"Nitish is the most experienced Chief Minister in the country who has taken a courageous step," said Tejashwi Yadav.
In the state Assembly, the RJD has the highest number of 79 MLAs followed by the BJP (77) and the JD(U) with 44. The JD(U) also enjoys the support of four MLAs of former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha and an Independent. The Congress has 19 MLAs while the CPIML(L) has 12 and CPI and CPI(M) have two each. Besides, one MLA belongs to Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM.
(With inputs from agencies)
Talking to reporters in Makhania village in East Champaran district, Kishor dared the CM Nitish Kumar to honour his assurance that he gave to the youths, after formation of the 'Mahagathbandhan' government in August.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav and Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray also met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna