Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose Janata Dal (United) suffered a major setback in the state in the Lok Sabha elections, tendered his resignation to Governor D Y Patil today, taking moral responsibility for the debacle.
Mr Kumar's party ended up with just two of the 40 Lok Sabha seats from Bihar, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its erstwhile partner in the state, won as many as 22.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, an ally of the BJP, got five seats. The Congress won two seats, the NCP one, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) four and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party won three.
On June 16 last year, the JD (U) had formally withdrawn from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and ended its 17-year-old partnership with the BJP in Bihar after it became increasingly clear that Mr Narendra Modi would be the Prime Ministerial candidate of the party.
Talking to newspersons after meeting the Governor, Mr Kumar said he had not recommended dissolution of the Legislative Assembly. He said a meeting of the JD (U) Legislature Party would be held tomorrow to decide on its further course of action.
In response to a query, he said he had no regrets about the decision to part ways with the BJP and explained that it had been taken when it had become clear that the two parties could not work together.
Mr Kmar said that, as the person who led the party's campaign in Bihar, he was responsible for the debacle.
He decried the kind of campaign which had been conducted by the BJP in the elections.
"There was no discussion on programmes and policies but only allegations and counter-allegations and personal attacks. I have never seen such a campaign in my political career," he said.
Mr Kumar said that his party had conducted itself with dignity throughout the campaign, but did not get the kind of support from the people it had hoped to get.