Nitish joins hands with BJP: Bihar’s political scenario

Nitish-Sushil Modi team back at the helm of affairs in Bihar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with senior leader of BJP Sushil Kumar Modi at legislators meeting in Patna.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Within 24 hours of his resignation as Chief Minister of the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) government in Bihar, JD(U) president Nitish Kumar was sworn in as Chief Minister of the NDA government on Thursday. State BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister. No other Ministers took oath at the ceremony. The Governor has asked Mr. Kumar to prove his majority on the floor of the House on Friday.

Letter of support

Late on Wednesday night, Mr. Nitish Kumar had submitted a letter of support of 131 legislators to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, following which he was invited to take the oath on Thursday morning, A Raj Bhavan notification released at 2:58 a.m. announced the swearing-in.

Apart from the 71 JD(U) MLAs, 53 BJP, two Lok Janshakti Party, two Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, one Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and two Independent MLAs have pledged their support to the NDA government. In the 243-member Assembly, 122 is the required number for a majority.

Senior BJP leaders from Delhi J.P. Nadda and Anil Jain were present at the swearing-in ceremony, along with all senior State leaders at the Raj Bhavan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to congratulate both Mr. Kumar and Mr. Sushil Modi.

After taking oath as Chief Minister for the sixth time, Mr. Kumar told journalists that his decision (to part ways with the Grand Alliance) was taken in the interests of Bihar, and his only commitment was to serve the people and development of the State.

“I took decision in the interest of Bihar and my commitment is to serve Bihar and its people...development with justice has been my government’s mantra and it will continue to be so,” Mr. Kumar said.

He also expressed the hope that the new NDA government will function as it did in the previous regime. “Together, we’ll run the government at the Centre and State to work for the development of Bihar,” Mr. Kumar added. He also said when the time would come “he will explain everything” (on why he chose to part ways with the Grand Alliance government).

New Cabinet

BJP sources told The Hindu that other senior members would be inducted into the new Cabinet after the government wins the trust vote on Friday. Names of leaders Nand Kishore Yadav, Prem Kumar, Mangal Pandey, Sanjeev Chaurasia, Nitin Navin, Arun Sinha and Bhagirathi Devi are among those doing the rounds to become ministers.

Former Chief Minister and HAM(S) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi too could get a ministerial berth in the new Cabinet in a bid to address Dalit aspirations.

According to sources, as in the previous NDA government, 14 ministers each from the JD(U) and BJP are likely to form the Cabinet with “few alterations”. All JD(U) ministers are likely to retain their portfolios. “More or less it will be a return to the previous NDA government,” said a senior BJP leader.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to congratulate both Mr. Kumar and Mr. Sushil Modi. Later, Mr Kumar and Mr. Modi tweeted to thank Mr. Modi. “Thanks for the good wishes to the Prime Minister. There will be no compromise on the issue of corruption. I trust that with the help of Centre, development in the State would get pace.” tweeted Nitish Kumar.

Soon after the swearing-in ceremony, Mr. Kumar held a Cabinet meeting at his official residence and decided that the new government would seek a trust vote on Friday. “A special session of the Bihar Legislature has been called on Friday with only one agenda, that the new government would seek a vote of confidence on the floor of house,” Speaker Vijay Chaudhury later told journalists.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 9:22:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nitish-kumar-sworn-in-as-bihar-chief-minister/article19368998.ece

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