Patna, May 19 :
Nitish Kumar Monday refused to withdraw his resignation, following which the JD-U legislature party authorised him to elect a new leader. He quit as chief minister after the party’s abysmal performance in the Lok Sabha polls.
He resigned Saturday after the Janata Dal-United was reduced to two seats in the general elections.
“With Nitish Kumar refusing to withdraw his resignation, the JD-U legislature party has unanimously authorised him to elect a new leader to head the government,” JD-U state president Vashsisht Narain Singh said at a press conference here.
Singh said a delegation of party leaders, including president Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar, will meet Governor D.Y. Patil Monday evening to stake its claim to form the government.
He said the party has a clear majority in the state assembly.
“There was no danger to the government. Nitish Kumar resigned taking moral responsibility of JD-U’s rout in the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.
He also said Nitish Kumar will lead the party in the next state assembly polls due in 2015.
On Sunday, Nitish Kumar had sought time till Monday to reconsider his decision after party workers said they will not accept anyone else and asked him to withdraw the resignation.
A senior party leader close to Nitish Kumar told IANS here that he is adamant and does not want to change his stand.
“By resigning as chief minister, Nitish Kumar played a master stroke that not only reunited the party leaders and workers, but also led to widespread demands by all sections of people across Bihar that he should continue for the sake of development,” he said.
JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said the party legislators had expressed full faith in Nitish Kumar and decided to re-elect him as their leader.
The party won only two of the state’s 40 Lok Sabha seats — as against 20 seats in 2009, when it was in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party. It parted ways with the BJP last year ending a 17-year-long alliance.