Ni­tish sworn in as Bi­har chief min­is­ter, Oppn lead­ers cheer

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

PATNA: Bi­har chief min­is­ter Ni­tish Ku­mar was sworn in on Fri­day for his fifth term at the helm, with a galaxy of lead­ers cheer­ing him on at a mega-func­tion that sig­nalled a grow­ing unity among re­gional forces and the Congress against the BJP.

The cer­e­mony at Patna’s his­toric Gandhi Maidan also com­pleted the come­back of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, whose party has 80 MLAs as against the JD(U)’s 71 in the 243-mem­ber as­sem­bly.

A look at the peck­ing or­der con­firmed Prasad’s grip as the next two min­is­ters to take oath af­ter Ku­mar were the RJD supremo’s first-time leg­is­la­tor sons — Te­jashwi, who was made the No. 2 in the gov­ern­ment with the deputy chief min­is­ter’s post, and his el­der brother Tej Pratap, the new health min­is­ter. The 26-year-old Te­jashwi will also look af­ter the road and build­ings con­struc­tions port­fo­lio.

The third min­is­ter to say his oath was RJD strong­man Ab­dul

Bari Sid­diqui, who got the al­limpor­tant fi­nance port­fo­lio in the 28-mem­ber min­istry that in­cluded four from the Congress.

Prasad and wife Rabri Devi, both for­mer chief min­is­ters, raised their hands to bless their sons as they read the brief cer­e­mo­nial amid deaf­en­ing cheers from RJD activists at the packed venue. The clichéd “son­rise” was smooth, bar­ring

a slip of tongue by 27-yearold Tej Pratap, when he mis­read apekshit (ex­pected) as up­ekshit (dis­crim­i­na­tion) from the oath script much to the dis­ap­proval of his fa­ther who faced taunts from BJP lead­ers be­cause of his sons’ aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tion, es­pe­cially Te­jashwi who is a class 9 dropout.

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