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Swept by NaMo Wave, Nitish Quits, Gogoi Too Offers to Go

The rhetoric during the election campaign against 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.

Published: 18th May 2014 09:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2014 09:17 AM   |  A+A-

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PATNA/KOLKATA: The rhetoric during the election campaign against 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 tendered his resignation on Saturday as his JD(U) managed to win only two out of 40 Lok Sabha seats.

“My entire cabinet and I have submitted our resignations and I hope the Governor will explore the possibilities of forming a new government. I accept moral responsibility for our party’s defeat as I had led the poll campaign myself,” he said after sending his resignation to Governor D Y Patil.

However, the shrewd Bihari politician, who earlier had an alliance with the BJP, did not recommend dissolution of the State Assembly.

Confident of retaining power in case of a no-confidence motion or if asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House, he said, “Our party still has a clear cut majority in the Assembly.”

Nitish did not lament his decision to part ways with the BJP on the issue of Narendra Modi being made the prime ministerial candidate and said “it was based on our ideology.”

Asked about possible defections from his party to the BJP, he curtly remarked, “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 encouraging for the JD(U) as it won only one out of the five seats, all of which were held by the ruling party.

In fact, Nitish’s government in Bihar was in minority as the JD(U) had only 116 legislators in the 234-member Assembly. His government was supported from the outside by four Congress MLAs, four independents and a lone CPI legislator.

The other casualty is Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, in whose state the Congress managed to win only three seats out of 14 Lok Sabha seats.

However, Gogoi did not meet or write to Assam Governor J B Patnaik expressing his desire to step down from office. Gogoi is the longest-serving CM in Assam and is now in his third term.

As expected, BJP bagged seven seats in Assam while the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won three seats. All the three Union ministers, who were Congress nominees, were defeated badly.

Gogoi too accepted “moral defeat and responsibility” and sent his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The only two CMs in the eastern region who survived the Modi tsunami and stopped it at their state borders were West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and Odisha Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik. 

While the TMC won 34 out of 42 seats in West Bengal, the Patnaik’s BJD bagged 19 out of a total of 21 seats in Odisha.

Mamata consolidated her position among the state’s electorate, 28 per cent of which are Muslims, calling Modi the “communal face of India” and also employing the “muscle power” of her party during the elections.

In Odisha, Patnaik, who is in his record fourth term, could mobilisevoters with his “unimaginablecharisma”. His party even managed to increase its tally to 19 compared to the 17 seats it had won in 2009.

The BJP and the Congress  managed to win only one seat each.

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