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Nitish refuses to stay as CM; JD(U) to decide today

Patna, May 18
Whatís on Nitish Kumarís mind? On a day when the JD(U) Legislature Party unanimously re-elected him as its leader and three RJD legislators parted ways with Lalu Prasad, Nitish remained unyielding over his decision to quit as Chief Minister.

Nitish had resigned from the CMís post on Saturday, a day after the ruling JD-Uís embarrassing rout in the General Election. The party won only two of the state's 40 LS seats, while the BJP and its allies secured 31. In 2009, the JD-U ó then in alliance with the BJP ó had won 20 seats.

When MLAs persisted, asking Nitish to continue as CM and threatened to sit in dharna at his residence, he sought time till tomorrow to convey his decision, party spokesman Sanjay Singh told reporters. Accordingly, the JD(U) Legislature Party will meet again tomorrow.

An emotional Nitish, in his speech at the meeting, said his continuing as CM would be a loss for the party and insisted on not withdrawing his resignation. He said he would devote more time to the party remaining out of power, but the MLAs refused to buy his argument.

In a related development, three rebel RJD MLAs resigned from the Bihar Assembly to extend their support to Nitish. The resignation of the three MLAs has reduced the partyís strength to 21 in the 243-member Bihar Assembly.

Earlier, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, reportedly against Nitish Kumar continuing as CM, faced stormy protest from Kumar's supporters. Raising the slogan of "One leader One mission", the legislators highlighted that since they got peoples' mandate in 2010 Assembly polls in the name of Kumar he should continue during the remaining 18 months of the Assembly. ó Agencies

3 MLAs leave Lalu

  • Three rebel RJD MLAs resigned from the Bihar Assembly to extend their support to Nitish
  • Samrat Chaudhary, Ram Lakhan Ram Raman and Javed Iqbal submitted their resignation letters to Speaker Udai Narayan Choudhary
  • The resignation of the three MLAs has reduced the partyís strength to 21 in the 243-member House

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