The Hindu

Nitish to take oath as Bihar CM on Nov. 20

- AMARNATH TEWARY

PATNA: Chief Minister-designate Nitish Kumar on Saturday met Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and staked claim to form the government. The oath-taking will be held at the Gandhi Maidan here on November 20.

Earlier, RJD MLAs met for the second time at the former Chief Minister Rabri Devi’s residence to elect their legislatur­e party leader, but again no decision was taken amid speculatio­n that some seniors opposed the name of Tejaswi Yadav, younger son of Lalu Prasad, for the post. But many young MLAs demanded that he be made legislatur­e party leader.

Party sources told The Hindu that Mr. Prasad had also been facing opposition on the home front as his elder son Tej Pratap too had won the election from the Mahua Assembly constituen­cy, and was said to be the favourite of Rabri Devi. At the same time, in the presence of party president Sharad Yadav and general secretary K.C. Tyagi, Mr. Nitish Kumar was elected as leader of the JD(U) legislatur­e party.

Later, all the MLAs of the three constituen­ts the RJD, the JD(U) and the Congress, met at the annexe building of the State Council and unanimousl­y elected Mr. Kumar as leader of the Mahagathba­ndhan (grand alliance).

State JD(U) chief Basistha Narayan Singh presided over the meeting, while former Chief Minister Rabri Devi proposed the name of Mr. Kumar and the Bihar incharge of the Congress, C.P. Joshi, seconded it.

Soon after, both Mr. Kumar and Mr. Prasad drove straight to the Raj Bhawan in the same car and staked claim to form the government. Chief Ministers of several States such as West Bengal, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and other prominent leaders of the country have been invited to the swearing-in ceremony of the new government.

Meanwhile, the JD (U) sources told The Hindu that Mr. Kumar would be taking oath along with his 35-member Cabinet — 16 from the RJD, 14 from the JD(U) and five from the Congress. Senior Congress leader Sadanand Singh might be the Speaker of the State Assembly, said party sources.

Mr. Kumar also said that all three alliance parties would be part of the new government, “which will work unitedly as per the rule of law.” “We’ve got the mandate to work and the government will run according to people’s expectatio­n and aspiration­s… we’ll follow the common minimum programme with the seven determinat­ions promised earlier, to take Bihar further on developmen­t path,” Mr. Kumar told journalist­s.

He also said that his government would work without any discrimina­tion and prejudice against anyone and “need support from the Opposition as well.”

However, Mr. Prasad said that mission to form the government had now been accomplish­ed and everything else would fall in line accordingl­y.

 ??  ?? Nitish Kumar with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav after Mr. Kumar's election as the leader of the legislatur­e party of the Grand Alliance in Patna on Saturday.
Nitish Kumar with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav after Mr. Kumar's election as the leader of the legislatur­e party of the Grand Alliance in Patna on Saturday.

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