Nitish Kumar sorry for quitting, says won't repeat it

Patna: Senior JD-U leader Nitish Kumar, who may become the next Bihar chief minister after Jitan Ram Manjhi quit, Friday publicly apologised to the people for his mistake in having resigned last year.

"I admit that I had made a mistake by resigning as chief minister. I publicly apologise for it to people of Bihar. Please forgive me for it as I will not repeat my mistake," Nitish Kumar said at a press conference here.

Nitish KumarNitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar saying sorry was akin to Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal's apology for resigning as the Delhi chief minister after 49 days last year. The AAP went on to make a stunning comeback in Delhi, winning 67 of the 70 assembly seats.

Nitish Kumar apologised twice during his half an hour address to the media here. He made it clear that he will not take any such emotional decision in the future.

Manjhi Friday resigned just ahead of a floor test.

"We are waiting (for a word) from the governor," said Nitish Kumar and added that they had submitted letters of support to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi Feb 8.

Nitish Kumar described the sudden decision of Manjhi to quit as chief minister just ahead of the floor test as a "unique situation". "There was high-voltage drama."

"This is perhaps happening for the first time...The governor was to address the joint session, half an hour before that the chief minister resigned," Nitish Kumar told reporters.

Countering Manjhi's accusation, Nitish Kumar said it was "hilarious".

"I have never interfered in any work," he said.

Nitish Kumar said that he will work in the same manner in which he had worked during his last eight and a half years as chief minister.

"For me, governance and only governance will be the priority...," he said.

He said that he now expects Governor Tripathi to invite him to form the next government as he had already staked claim to it.

Nitish Kumar said the BJP's game plan has failed.

"BJP tried to split JD-U but failed and Manjhi fled from the field," he said.

The former chief minister said the BJP has written the script for the current political situation. "The BJP supported Manjhi."

"But Manjhi resigned after he failed to get adequate numbers to prove his majority in the state assembly," he said.

On Feb 8, the JD-U submitted letters of support to the governor staking claim to form the government. The move came a day after Nitish Kumar was re-elected the legislature party leader.

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