Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who has not been retained in the new Bihar dispensation after serving as the Deputy Chief Minister for close to 15 years, attended the swearing-in ceremony of new NDA government on Monday but looked aloof in the crowd of new MLAs.
Even as Modi was present for the swearing-in ceremony, he did not look his usual self. Otherwise a vibrant politician, Sushil Modi watched, not betraying much emotions, as Kumar and others were administered the oath of office.
The BJP has replaced Sushil Modi as the Deputy Chief Minister, bringing in two new faces for the post - multiple-term BJP MLAs Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he would miss Modi, however, he added it was BJP's decision. "That is the decision taken by BJP... The BJP decides who will hold the post of ministers and become Deputy Chief Minister," he said.
Kumar and Sushil Modi's pair as CM and DCM since 2005, barring a 20-month gap when Kumar was in alliance with the RJD, has been the hallmark of the ruling coalition in the state.
The BJP, however, has denied that Sushil Modi was upset because of this shake-up. BJP's Bihar in-charge Devendra Fadnavis said, "Sushil Modi ji is not at all upset. He is an asset to us. The party will think about him, a new responsibility will be given to him."
Besides, Sushil Modi has congratulated Nitish Kumar and all new ministers through a series of posts on Twitter in Hindi. "Congratulations Nitish Kumar on becoming the chief minister for the seventh time. Bihar will march ahead under your leadership. Bihar will keep getting cooperation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he wrote.
(With PTI inputs)