Blown Away by Modi Wave, Nitish Resigns, Gogoi Going
PATNA / KOLKATA: The rhetoric during the Lok Sabha poll campaign against now prime minister-designate Narendra Modi turned out to be political hara-kiri by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and a washout for the ruling Congress in Assam forcing Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to offer to resign.
Nitish Kumar tendered his resignation on Saturday as his Janata Dal (United) could win only two seats out of a total of 40, with the saffron party sweeping 24 seats.
“My entire Cabinet and I have submitted our resignation and I hope the governor will explore the possibilities of formation of a new government. I accept moral responsibility for our party’s defeat as I had led the campaign myself,” Nitish said after sending his resignation to Governor D Y Patil.
However, being the shrewd politician that he was, who had earlier allied with the BJP, he did not recommend dissolution of the Assembly. Confident of retaining power in case of a no-confidence motion or asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House, Nitish said, “Our party still has a clear-cut majority in the Assembly.”
Nitish also did not lament his decision to part ways with the BJP on the issue of Modi being made the prime ministerial candidate saying, “It was based on our ideology.” Asked about possible defections from his party to the BJP, he curtly said: “It is now open to them as they have the opportunity.”
Even the results of the by-elections for the State Assembly held simultaneously were not at all encouraging for the JD(U) as it won only one out of the five seats, all of which were held by the ruling party.
The other casualty is Gogoi in Assam, where the Congress managed to win only three seats out of 14 LS seats. However, Gogoi did not meet or write to Governor J B Patnaik expressing his desire to step down. All the three Union ministers from Assam were trounced. Gogoi, however, accepted “moral responsibility” and sent in his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.