PATNA: Nitish Kumar, who remained firm on stepping down from chief ministership of Bihar, today said he would be ready to take on the responsibility again if he won the mandate in the 2015 state assembly polls.
"If people give me mandate in 2015 I am ready to take responsibility again," Kumar told his supporters gathered outside after the crucial JD(U)LP meeting at his official residence.
He said the JD(U)LP had authorised him to choose a new leader which he would and convey the name to Governor D Y Patil who has given time at 6 pm today for a meeting.
Braving the scorching Sun, Kumar's supporters had gathered in large numbers both yesterday and today at the gates of his residence, the venue of the JD(U)LP meetings on the issue.
The supporters, who have been demanding that Kumar withdraw his decision, were so agitated that they heckled party president Sharad Yadav yesterday blaming him for being behind the resignation. Senior minister Ramai Ram who spoke against Kumar was also manhandled.
Kumar, who was accompanied by state JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh and leader Rajiv Ranjan Lallan, said his decision to quit was not a sentimental one but a 'hard political decision' and urged his supporters to brace for a 'big fight' in assembly polls scheduled next year.
"My responsibility has rather increased to guide government as well strengthen party in the state," he said.
Kumar said though there was not shortage of numbers for him, he decided to quit owning moral responsibility for the defeat of the party in the parliamentary polls in the state.
JD(U) managed to hold on to merely two seats this time from a high of 20 in 2009. BJP gained from the separation with it and won 22 seats on its own and helped new allies LJP win 6 and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP).
Attacking BJP for charging him with indulging in horse trading to protect his government, Kumar mocked at its senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi for claiming that 50 JD(U) MLAs were in touch with it.
"Even after resigning I did not dissolve the assembly to give scope for forming a new government ... I have given BJP 48 hours to form a new government with the help of 50 JD(U) MLAs ... Unki pol khul gayi (their claim has been laid bare)," he said sarcastically.
Kumar said JD(U) enjoyed comfortable majority in the assembly as besides its own strength of 117 MLAs including the speaker, it enjoyed support of 4 Congress MLAs, 1 CPI and 3 Independents.