Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar CM for 8th time, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav sworn in as his deputy

This comes a day after JD(U) officially walked out of NDA in the state and Kumar resigned as the CM, paving the way for the formation of the Mahagathbandhan alliance with RJD, and Congress

FPJ BureauUpdated: Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 11:39 PM IST
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JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar sworn in as Bihar CM for the 8th time. Tejashwi Yadav also took over as Deputy CM at Raj Bhavan. |

Patna: JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar on Wednesday took oath as Bihar chief minister for a record eighth time in a no-frills ceremony at Raj Bhavan. On Tuesday, he snapped ties with the BJP-led NDA and joined hands with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) to form a Mahagathbandhan government. Minutes before taking oath, Nitish called up RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, who congratulated him.

Nitish was sworn in besides RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, who is likely to be designated as his deputy. Other cabinet ministers will be sworn in later once the three main alliance partners – the JD(U), RJD and Congress – decide on the number of berths and the legislators who will be made ministers.

Also present at the swearing-in ceremony were Tejashwi’s wife Rajshri, former chief minister Rabri Devi, RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav and scores of party workers. Leaders of the BJP, which is the second largest party in the assembly with 77 MLAs, were conspicuous by their absence at the swearing-in ceremony.

Back in the reckoning as a potential “secular” alternative to Narendra Modi, which the disjointed opposition could project, Nitish said he had no “daawedari” (claims) when asked about prime ministerial ambitions, but quipped “they should remember 2014 is past. They need to worry (‘chinta karni chahiye’) about 2024”. Rejecting theories that his new government wouldn’t last, he said “the government will run just fine”.

Sources said that Nitish is likely to retain the all-important home department, while the RJD may get most of the departments that were previously with the BJP. An in-principle agreement has reportedly been reached about the composition of the new cabinet, which is likely to have 35 members or more from the three parties.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the Mahagathbandhan headed by Lalit Yadav brought a no-confidence motion against present Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Singh. A letter signed by 50 MLAs was submitted before the secretary of the Vidhan Sabha. Now, Sinha has to prove the majority inside the Assembly to retain his position as Speaker. If he does not have the adequate numbers, he will have to step down from the post and resign.

BJP leader Sushil Modi attacked Nitish and said that he has betrayed the people of Bihar, who voted for the NDA in the last assembly polls. On being missing from the swearing-in ceremony, he said, “We didn’t receive an invitation. We would have, in any case, not liked to witness the formation of a government which has been installed on the pedestal of betrayal.”

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