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Bihar CM to review Manjhi’s decisions

Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar’s CM at Raj Bhavan in Patna on Sunday.

Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar’s CM at Raj Bhavan in Patna on Sunday.

Senior Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar took oath here on Sunday nine months after he stepped down as Chief Minister of Bihar.

Besides Mr. Kumar 22 Ministers, including three women, were also administered the oath of office by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. The Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress, partners of JD(U), however, are yet to become part of the government.

“I’d requested them to join the government but they said they would take a decision later,” said Mr. Kumar during a media interaction after the swearing-in ceremony. He would expand his Cabinet after the Budget session of the Assembly, he added.

A galaxy of leaders from across the political spectrum were present at the function in Raj Bhavan. They included former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, Congress leaders Moti Lal Vohra and Dr. C.P. Joshi, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (P) leader Babulal Marandi and Indian National Lok Dal leaders Abhay and Dushyant Chautala. However, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad could not attend due to the wedding of his daughter.

Later, at a press conference, listing his government’s priorities, Mr. Kumar, in an oblique reference to his predecessor Jitan Ram Manjhi, said he would review the decisions of the previous government without any “prejudice or ill-will.”

The CM said good governance, rule of law, agriculture, energy and development with justice would be the focus areas of his government. “I’ll follow the road map made by my government earlier and for this will also seek the support of the central government,” said Mr. Kumar, while adding that he would not hesitate to even meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, if needed.

“The Centre should focus more on the development of States like Bihar,” he said.

The 22 sworn in were Ministers in the previous Nitish government and were later allocated the same portfolios.

Meanwhile, like several Mahadalit families across the State, Mr. Manjhi, too remained on fast to protest Mr. Kumar becoming CM. Mr. Manjhi, however, was present at the Raj Bhavan and also congratulated Mr. Kumar.

Opposition BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi and Nand Kishore Yadav too wished the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, the BJP said Mr. Kumar becoming the Chief Minister with the support of Mr. Lalu Prasad was the start of “Jungle Raj-2” in the State.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 6:08:16 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Nitish-returns-as-Bihar-Chief-Minister/article60331417.ece