Bihar chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday met governor DY Patil and told him that his party was no longer partnering with the BJP, according to TV reports. Reportedly, Kumar also sought a fresh vote of confidence in the House.
The build up to the decision saw hectic political activity in Patna.
On Sunday morning, chief minister Nitish kumar called a cabinet meeting at 12.30pm, but the BJP ministers refused to attend.
While on Friday the BJP had said that its 11 ministers in the Nitish Kumar-led regime would not resign, word was out on Sunday that the ministers would submit their resignations to deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
The BJP had already called a meeting on Sunday morning, while the JD(U) was meeting at 12.30pm in Patna to devise the strategy to go forward.
Sushil Kumar Modi has not attended to official duties since Friday and even turned in his official vehicle to the state.
If the BJP somehow challenges the JD(U) with its numbers and says it’s in a position to govern, then the onus would lie with Governor DY Patil to ask Nitish Kumar to prove his majority. However, that seems unlikely.
Constitutional experts Subhas Kashyap and PP Rao, both noted Supreme Court lawyers, agree that Nitish only has to supply a fresh list of ministers while asking BJP ministers to be dropped and handover a list of the 118 JD(U) legislators plus the five out of six independents in the Bihar assembly to continue with his government.
The independents are said to be on JD(U)’s side, except Dilip Verma, who is a relative of BJP’s Yashwant Sinha.
Independent Dulal Goswami, who has his roots in the BJP, is said to be firmly on board after the chief minister met him during his Katihar visit last week and invited him over.
However, doubts that the numbers might be inadequate will remain if dissenters within the JD(U) do not participate in a probable trial of strength, which could come up within the next 15 days in the assembly.
The Congress has already sent feelers that the JD(U) is “secular”, and talked of lending support after the BJP-JD(U) split has taken place and the NDA is dissolved in Bihar.