Patna, May 19 (PTI) : Bihar will have a new chief minister chosen by Nitish Kumar who today refused to take back his resignation despite repeated pleas by JD(U) legislators to continue in office.
Bihar JD(U) President Basistha Narayan Singh told newsmen after a crucial meeting of the JD(U) legislature party here that it was decided that Kumar would continue to lead the party and coordinate between the party and the state government.
Time has been sought from Governor D Y Patil this evening and JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, Kumar and he would go to the Raj Bhawan, Singh said.
On the JD(U)LP meeting, the second on the issue since yesterday, he said the legislators accepted Kumar’s decision to stick to his decision to resign with a heavy heart and authorised him to choose a new leader to head the JD(U) government.
He refused to provide any name as the next Chief minister and said Kumar had been authorised to decide it.
“He (Kumar) will take a decision to select a new leader to become CM soon,” Singh, who was flanked by state minister Shyam Rajak and two MLCs and state party spokespersons Sanjay Singh and Neeraj Kumar, said.
Singh said Sharad Yadav and JD(U) National General Secretary K C Tyagi were present at the meeting today where he proposed the resolution accepting Kumar’s resignation and authorising him to choose a new leader.
Senior minister Narendra Singh, whose name was initially doing the rounds as a replacement, seconded the resolution which was passsed unanimously by the JD(U) legislators.
The resolution, he said, welcomed Kumar’s decision to resign taking moral responsbility for the party’s rout in the just concluded parliamentary polls in which it won only 2 of the 40 LS seats in the state.
It expressed full confidence in Kumar and authorised him to choose a new leader to head the government in Bihar.
Emerging from the meeting, Kumar told reporters that he has taken moral responsibility for the defeat. Kumar said this a matter of principle for him and the right thing to do.
The resolution said that JD(U) would go to the assembly polls of 2015 under Kumar’s leadership and he would continue to guide the party by acting as a link between the party and the government.
The JD(U)LP meeting yesterday failed to choose a new leader after Kumar refused to relent on his decision to quit.
In view of the legislators’ vociferous demands for his continuation as chief minister he had sought time till today to convey his decision.
Today’s JD(U)LP meeting like yesterday was held at Kumar’s official residence at One Anne Marg from 2 pm and lasted for one hour.
Kumar in his address at the JD(U)LP meeting spoke again of the reasons for resigning and said sometimes hard decisions needed to be taken in politics.
Referring to rivals BJP and LJP, Singh said they made ‘irresponsible’ comments about Kumar after the poll result asking him to quit on moral grounds.
“Nitish Kumar has set an example of morality in politics by taking this extraordinary decision,” he said, adding Kumar has been known for keeping moral values in politics and cited the example of his quitting the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 2000 after Gaisal train disaster.
Tempers continued to run high ahead of the meeting and Yadav, whom the agitated supporters see as the one behind Kumar’s resignation, was taken inside the building from the rear entrance as his supporters had gathered in large numbers outside since morning. The JD(U) president had to face the ire of Kumar’s supporters yesterday.
In the morning Yadav had said Kumar’s decision to quit as Chief Minister was ‘final’ and a new leader would be elected.
JD(U) has 117 MLAs including the speaker in Bihar assembly which has an effective strength of 239. BJP has 90 members, RJD 21, Congress 4 and independents and lone CPI member accounting for 7.
Kumar had sailed through the trust motion in June last year after the divorce with NDA with the help of 4 Congress MLAs an equal number of independents and the lone CPI member.