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Nitish Kumar reviews poll debacle with candidates; senior JD (U) minister quits

Monday, 2 June 2014 - 8:06pm IST | Place: Patna | Agency: PTI

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Heads have started rolling after the poor showing by ruling JD(U) in the recent Lok Sabha election in Bihar, with a senior minister Gautam Singh tendering his resignation on Monday. Singh, minister for Science and Technology in the Jitan Ram Manjhi cabinet, submitted his resignation to the CM.

Confirming his resignation, Singh told PTI he did so on his own to work for the organisation. Singh was present during the day-long review meeting on JD(U)'s dismal performance in the Parliamentary poll at the residence of former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Party sources said at least four other ministers have handed over their resignation letters to Manjhi expressing their desire to work for the party. There was, however, no official confirmation of this.

Education Minister PK Shahi, among those who believed to have given resignation letter to the CM, evaded a direct reply when asked to confirm the news. "This is a mystery which I cannot share with you," Shahi told reporters after the oath taking ceremony of 14 new ministers.

Another minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav dismissed the news. Kumar, along with state JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh, held individual dialogue with all the 37 JD(U) Lok Sabha candidates, to take feedback about the poll.

Asked about review meeting, Kumar all the candidates narrated their experience in the election and made their recommendations for future corrective steps. "Discussions were held on future strategy," he said adding Basistha Narayan Singh would meet party office bearers tomorrow as part of review exercise which would continue.

JD(U) had contested in 38 out of the total 40 seats in Bihar and had left 2 for its ally CPI. JD(U) nominee from Kisanganj, Akhtarul Iman, had withdrawn from contest mid-way. Only two JD(U) nominees -- Kaushlendra Kumar from Nalanda and Santosh Kushwaha from Purnea -- won in the polls. JD(U) president Sharad Yadav too lost from his traditional Madhepura seat and about half of party candidates forfeited their deposit.

Chief Minister Manjhi attributed BJP victory in LS poll to their "confusing" campaign. "People of Bihar are with us and we will bounce back as a major force in the state soon," he told reporters.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi denied that the state government was responsible for the delay in completion of railway projects saying the state government has released its share of funds towards these projects.

The central minister has 'wrongly blamed' the state government for failing to fulfil its financial commitment towards pending railway projects, he said. "We have released the state's share of the cost of these projects and it was the central government that has failed to do so," he said while speaking to reporters at the Raj Bhawan after swearing-in of 14 new ministers.

Sinha, in an interaction with the reporters earlier in the day, had charged the state government with failing to fulfil its financial commitment towards the under-construction railway projects, but said he would look into the matter once he reached Delhi and ensure completion of all projects in a time-bound manner.

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