Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar Chief Minister after Lalu Yadav’s stand firm. The Mahagatbandhan experiment to wall off against the avalanche of BJP electoral success has failed in Bihar today with the Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar resigning today in the wake of a corruption scandal that has enveloped his deputy and coalition partner Lalu Yadav’s son Tejashwi Yadav. Ever since being named in a CBI case for corruption, both father Lalu (who leads the RJD, one of the three main coalition partners) and son Tejashwi Yadav have cried foul, claiming the vindictive Centre is out for their blood. However, the defence of political vendetta did not sit well with Nitish Kumar, who hinted amply that he expected Tejashwi’s resignation.
When this was denied, Nitish Kumar apparently asked the father-son duo to explain the charges publicly but the Yadavs were in no mood to give. Citing an atmosphere of hostility that made it impossible to work, Nitish turned in his papers this evening to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. He is set to meet with his JDU lawmakers to decide on a future course of action. Meanwhile, the BJP too has gone into a huddle in New Delhi, and there are rumours that the party may be willing to support former coalition partners JDU without actually participating in the government.
With the sudden death of the Nitish government, the coalition of 18 parties that presented a united front and an amalgamation of various castes against the BJP and won its most important victory in Bihar seems to be over. It was reported that the third partner of this coalition, Congress, tried to mediate peace between the two warring sides, but apparently, it did not work.
With Nitish resigning rather than risk his reputation being muddied by the corruption allegations against the Yadavs, Bihar seems to head for turbulent times. A realignment of powers-to-be may very well be on the cards, and the next few days may bring about one of the most significant political developments before the general elections of 2019.