Several members of Bihar’s ruling coalition expressed their disapproval over Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s resignation on Wednesday. Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav accused Kumar of colluding with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The RJD chief said the alliance partners should hold a meeting to select a new chief minister.

Lalu Prasad Yadav said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instantaneous tweet congratulating Kumar on his “fight against corruption” was proof of the conspiracy between the BJP and Nitish Kumar.

Kumar, the Janata Dal (United) chief, had announced his resignation while clarifying that he had not asked his deputy, Tejashwi Yadav – Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son – to resign. “On my part, I tried to hold the grand alliance together as much as I could,” Kumar said. “I had only asked for a clarification [on the corruption charges],” Kumar said. “...It is not possible to work in this environment. I tried and found that resigning was the solution.”

Lalu Prasad Yadav told reporters that Kumar was trying to protect himself from the consequences of being an accused in a murder case, ANI reported.

“We are deeply disappointed by the news of Nitish Kumar’s resignation,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. “Congress respects him as a leader.” Surjewala said the alliance would continue to work towards the mandate it had set for the people of Bihar.

The rift in the grand alliance

Tensions grew to a breaking point between the JD(U) and the RJD, which make up the “grand alliance” in Bihar along with the Congress, after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed corruption charges against Tejashwi Yadav and a number of others on July 7.

Kumar’s resignation came a day after he had said the CBI’s corruption allegations against the Yadavs would have no impact on the alliance. Kumar had been criticised for not acting against Tejashwi Yadav. The JD(U) had initially asked the deputy chief minister to resign.