Nitish sworn in as Bihar chief minister, Oppn leaders cheer
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.