Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday resigned to quit the existing one-and-half-year-old larger coalition government with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and switched back to the BJP’s fold to remain in power for the ninth term.

JDU sources said Kumar is likely to be sworn in this evening as the CM again in the presence of BJP president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.    

“Today, I have resigned as the Chief Minister and I have also told the Governor to dissolve the government in the state,” outgoing CM Kumar told reporters in Patna. When asked why he walked out of the Congress-RJD-Left coalition government, the JDU president remarked, “This situation came because not everything was alright... You all were also trying to find out from me about it but I kept silent on it.. I was getting views from my party.. everyone. I listened to all of them. Today, the Government has been dissolved...”

Kumar conveyed his decision to JDU MLAs who had assembled at his residence in Patna in the morning before driving down to Raj Bhavan, accompanied by senior party leader Bijendra Yadav, to submit his resignation letter to Governor Rajendra V Arlekar. The Governor accepted Kumar’s resignation and asked him to continue till a new government is formed, officials said.

The BJP legislative party meeting, meanwhile, met in the morning and unanimously passed a resolution to support the JDU in forming the government in Bihar. Before that, the party leaders met Nitish Kumar at his residence to formally extend support to JDU in government formation.

 BJP National General Secretary and points person for Bihar, Vinod Tawde told reporters, “...All MLAs unanimously passed the proposal to form the NDA government in Bihar with BJP, JD(U) and other NDA allies for the welfare of the people in the state”.  According to him, Samrat Chaudhary, the party’s state president, has been elected as the Leader of the legislative party, and Vijay Sinha as the Deputy Leader. The state BJP unit gave into the central leadership wish which too turned turtle over its vow that all doors were shut for Nitish after the JDU founder ditched them to form the government with the larger opposition alliance led by RJD after the 2020 assembly polls.

A dejected Congress and RJD said they knew this was coming due to Nitish Kumar’s track record of somersaulting to switch sides in politics. “Bihar Deputy CM (Tejashwi Yadav) and Lalu Prasad Yadav (RJD president) had hinted regarding this and today it became true. There are many people like this, ‘aaya ram gaya ram’”, Mallikarjun Kharge observed on Nitish Kumar’s leaving the ‘Mahagathbandhan’. Kumar’s move was also a major setback to the INDIA bloc’s larger opposition unity which has not been able to find its feet so far since TMC and AAP have also decided to go solo in West Bengal and Punjab respectively.   

On the other hand, RJD leader Mrityunjay Tiwari stated, “What was left with him? Public is the master. It watches everything and it will demand an account for everything....”

This is the fourth time when Nitish Kumar acrimoniously parted ways and returned to the BJP fold. In June 2013, he called off ties with the BJP, taking a secular plea against the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s appointment as the PM face ahead of general elections the following year.