Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s unexpected resignation on Wednesday evening plunged Bihar politics into a crisis. But hours later, he joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to reclaim the government in a stunning political manoeuvre that relegated his ‘Mahagathbandhan’, or Grand Alliance, partner Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) to the opposition.
The ostensible reason for Kumar to quit was his falling out with deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Prasad’s son. Yadav is facing corruption charges but had refused to step down despite Kumar’s exhortations. “In the circumstances that prevail in Bihar, it became difficult to run the Grand Alliance government,” Kumar told reporters outside Raj Bhavan after submitting his resignation to governor Keshri Nath Tripathi.
But in a series of fast paced developments that unfolded way past midnight on Wednesday, it became clear that Kumar was going to be the ultimate winner. Meanwhile, Tejashwi met Bihar governor Keshri Nath Tripathi on Thursday morning, and said RJD should have been invited to form the government as it was the single largest party in the state. He later told reporters that the RJD will take legal advice on the matter and may even move court.