Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday welcomed Nitish Kumar’s decision to sever ties with the BJP, calling it a “good start” towards political parties and people taking a stand.
“It’s a good start. On this day, the slogan of ‘Angrezo Bharat Chhodo’ was given and today the slogan of ‘BJP Bhagao’ is coming from Bihar. I think soon, political parties and people in different states will stand against BJP,” Mr Yadav said, speaking to reporters in Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj.
“He (Nitish Kumar) is a leader with vast experience. What could be said about him. He knows Bihar and the arithmetic of Bihar politics better,” he said in response to a question.
Ending his alliance with the BJP for the second time in six years, Nitish Kumar handed his resignation as Chief Minister and then, after being elected leader of a “Mahagathbandhan” (Grand Alliance), staked claim for the top job in the state once again.
Mr Kumar said he submitted a list of 164 MLAs to the Governor. The oath ceremony has been planned for tomorrow. With an effective strength of 242, the majority figure in the state assembly is 122.
State BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal accused the JDU leader of betraying the mandate of the 2020 assembly polls, and claimed that Mr Kumar will be “punished by the people of Bihar” for this.
Mr Kumar’s move, which was a reversal of what happened in 2017 when he left the Mahagathbandhan to rejoin the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
He had deserted the NDA in 2013 after Narendra Modi was made the Prime Ministerial candidate of the coalition.