Besides the four ministerial berths, the Congress has also sought the post of Speaker of the state assembly, but Kumar is not keen on awarding that, the sources said.
BJP leaders noted that he had snapped ties with the RJD in 2017 over allegations of corruption against its leader Tejashwi Yadav and asked how he will justify the alliance with the party again.
Kumar then joined the Atal Behari Vajpayee cabinet and proved to be a good administrator in his new role as railway minister, introducing computerised railway reservation among other initiatives.
After the JD(U) meeting, Kumar drove to Raj Bhavan to tender his resignation from where he returned to his residence, stopping for a while to inform the large posse of journalists.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said the situation in Bihar is one of the reasons behind the Parliament session being cut short by the government.
Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Kumar submitted his resignation to governor Phagu Chauhan. After resigning, Kumar said MPs and MLAs of the JD(U) were not in favour of continuing the party’s alliance with the BJP.
Asked about Kumar’s immenent tie-up with the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Choubey said, ”Vinaash kaal vipreet buddhi” (when doom approaches, one loses wisdom).
The Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader also came out in support of the BJP amid the political turmoil in Bihar and said the saffron party had accepted everything that Kumar wanted as chief minister and even compromised on its own policies.
The move came after a meeting of the JD(U) at the official residence of Nitish Kumar here. In the JD(U) meeting today, all MLAs and MPs of the party supported chief minister Kumar’s decision and said that they were with him. They also asserted that they will continue to support Kumar in his decision.
Even until Monday, some senior BJP leaders, including those from Bihar, were of the view that the Janata Dal (United) leader was engaging in brinkmanship to pressure his bigger partner to be more accommodative.
Kumar, who has been promised the support of opposition parties, sought time from Chauhan, who has given an appointment at 4 pm, they said.
JD(U) sources said Kumar is unlikely to resign from chief minister-ship and may simply seek to replace BJP ministers with those of other parties, which may support his party in continuing the government.
The meeting of the RJD convened by its leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, the son of Lalu Yadav also saw leaders of the CPI ML and Congress – part of Mahagathbandhan, the grand Opposition alliance in the state, according to Ajit Sharma, Congress Bihar legislature party leader
Attempts are evident in the JD(U) to downplay the impact of the unceremonious exit of RCP Singh, who has been Nitish Kumar’s close associate in various capacities for nearly three decade
Paswan’s decision to field candidates against the JD(U) in the 2020 Bihar assembly polls had hugely dented its prospect and its president Lalan Singh suggested on Sunday this was part of a larger conspiracy, a veiled dig at the BJP.
Earlier on Sunday, Nitish Kumar skipped the NITI Aayog meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while RCP Singh announced his exit from the party after the party sought a reply on corruption allegations on Saturday.
Bhattacharya said the row between JD(U) and BJP stems from the recent statement by J P Nadda, president of the saffron party, who said probably regional parties “have no future”.
AICC secretary Shakil Ahmed Khan, who is also a party MLA, said the meeting will be held at the residence of Congress legislature party leader Ajeet Sharma and is likely to be attended by the party’s in charge of Bihar, Bhakt Charan Das, who is scheduled to reach here in the evening.
Talking to reporters here, Lalan did not react to speculations that Kumar was planning to walk out of the NDA but took exception to the claim that the BJP had decided who would be a minister from the JD(U).