JD(U) MLAs unanimously chose Nitish Kumar as their leader and insisted that he withdraw his resignation, but an emotional Kumar refused.

When MLAs persisted asking him to continue as Chief Minister and even threatened to sit on dharna at his residence, Kumar sought time till Monday to convey his decision, party spokesman Sanjay Singh told reporters.

Accordingly, JD(U) Legislature party meeting has been called again on Monday, Singh said.  Nitish Kumar in his speech at the meeting said his continuing as chief minister would be a loss for the party and insisted on not withdrawing his resignation.

Kumar said he would devote more time to the party remaining out of power. He also said that rival BJP was making mockery of his resignation by describing it as "nautanki" (drama). But, party legislators refused to buy his argument.

Facing the heightened sentiment of the MLAs, Kumar sought time till tomorrow to convey his decision to the party on his resignation, JD(U) Spokesman Sanjay Singh said.

Earlier, senior Minister Narendra Singh proposed the name of Kumar as party leader in the Assembly and all MLAs supported it, JD(U) MLA Ashok Kumar said.

Name of no other leader as new leader was proposed in the meeting, he said.

JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, reported to be not in favour of continuation of Kumar after severe drubbing in Lok Sabha polls, was present in the meeting which witnessed sloganeering in favour of Kumar.

Earlier during the day, Yadav faced stormy protest from Kumar's supporters for his stand outside the Chief Minister's house.

(Agencies)

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