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JD-U wants Nitish to continue as Bihar chief minister

Patna: A day after Nitish Kumar quit as Bihar chief minister, the JD-U legislature party Sunday unanimously resolved that he should continue in the post. Nitish Kumar, adamant on not withdrawing his resignation, sought time till Monday to finally decide.

Nitish Kumar
JD-U leader Nitish Kumar. File pic

Awaiting Nitish Kumar's final decision, the legislature party, therefore, postponed electing a leader till Monday.

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar told media persons after the JD-U legislature party meeting ended that Nitish Kumar had sought time till Monday to decide as legislators requested him to continue and told him that they would not elect any leader other than him.

The legislators demanded that Nitish Kumar withdraw his resignation for the sake of development of Bihar, but Nitish Kumar wanted to stick to his decision not to continue as chief minister and urged party workers to free him to take responsibility of the top post.

A JD-U leader, who attended the legislature party meeting at the chief minister's official residence here, said the party legislators expressed full faith in Nitish Kumar and decided to re-elect him as their leader.

Senior JD-U legislator Narendra Singh's resolution that Nitish Kumar will remain their leader was supported by all legislators present in the meeting. "All legislators unanimously supported Singh's resolution and pressurized Nitish Kumar to accept their demand to continue as CM," said JD-U leader Sanjay Singh.

According to JD-U leaders, the JD-U legislature party will meet again on Monday and will formally announce the decision as Nitish Kumar was expected to agree to continuing as CM under pressure from legislators, party leaders and workers.

Hundreds of ruling JD-U leaders and workers took to the streets Sunday in support of Nitish Kumar across Bihar demanding that he withdraw his resignation.

Upset a day after Nitish Kumar resigned, JD-U leaders and workers in Patna, Nalanda, Nawada, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Purnea, Khagaria, Hajipur, Samastipur, East Champaran and Madhepura districts rallied in his support.

In Patna, a large number of party leaders and workers gathered outside the official residence of Nitish Kumar since morning, ignoring the scorching sun and shouted slogans demanding that he withdraw his resignation.

"We will not allow him to step down because it will hamper development of Bihar," said party worker Mahesh Kumar at the spot.

Another JD-U worker Sangita Devi said they were there because they wanted Nitish Kumar to continue as chief minister. "We will not accept anyone other than Nitish Kumar as chief minister," she said.

Most JD-U legislators asserted that they would persuade Nitish Kumar to continue, said party legislator Anil Kumar.

The JD-U 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. The JD-U parted ways with the BJP last year ending a 17-year-long alliance.

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