Thursday, October 6, 2022

Nitish takes oath as Bihar CM for record 8th time

Nitish Kumar on Wednesday was sworn in as Bihar’s chief minister a day after quitting – ostensibly over a row with coalition partner BJP – and will now govern in alliance with his former rivals in RJD and Congress.
His deputy and RJD’s leader Tejashwi Yadav was the only other minister sworn in by Governor Phagu Chauhan, in a no-frills ceremony at Raj Bhavan here as lists of ministers to be nominated by parties in the coalition and their berths were yet to be finalised.
Kumar who heads JD(U) took oath for a record eighth time, as head of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) which it had dumped in 2015, to join hands with BJP.
The change effected by the wily leader, has in the eyes of many analysts potentially pitted him against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, soon after the swearing in ceremony, Kumar while dismissing rumours that he may now eye the Prime Ministerial race in the next general election, asserted Modi-led NDA government at the Centre does need to “worry” about its prospects in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
“They should remember 2014 (when BJP stormed to power at the centre) is past. They need to worry (‘chinta karni chahiye’) about 2024,” Kumar said. Leaders of BJP, which is the second largest party in the assembly with 77 MLAs, were conspicuous by their absence at the swearing-in ceremony.
Kumar has given in a list of 164 MLAs who support him to the Governor including his party’s 46 MLAs (45 party MLAs and 1 Ind), RJD’s 79 MLAs and Congress’s 19. CPI(ML) which has 12 MLAs, CPI – 2 and CPI(M) are giving him support. HAM party which 4 MLAs has also thrown in its lot with Kumar.