Nitish Kumar sworn in as Bihar CM for seventh time in 20 yrs; Tejashwi boycotts ceremony, Chirag takes dig - LiveNow24x7: Latest News, breaking news, 24/7 news,live news

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Monday, 16 November 2020

Nitish Kumar sworn in as Bihar CM for seventh time in 20 yrs; Tejashwi boycotts ceremony, Chirag takes dig

Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar was on Monday sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the seventh time in two decades while Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi took oath as the deputy chief ministers.

Since the post of a deputy chief minister is not a constitutional one, the two took oath as ministers and their posts would be notified by the Cabinet in due course.

Others who took oath as cabinet ministers include Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Vijendra Prasad Yadav, Ashok Choudhary, and Mewa Lal Choudhary (JDU), Santosh Kumar Suman, son of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi, and Mukesh Sahni of Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), Mangal Pandey, Ramprit Paswan, Jibesh and Ram Surat Rai, and Amarendra Pratap (BJP).

The oaths were administered at the Raj Bhavan by Governor Phagu Chauhan in a ceremony attended by top leaders of the NDA including Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda.

The Opposition alliance consisting of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and three Left parties, however, decided to boycott the swearing-in with Tejashwi Yadav's party repeating its allegations of fraud.

"The RJD boycotts oath-taking ceremony of this puppet government. The mandate is for a change, and against the (ruling) NDA. The peoples verdict has been changed by the rulers order," the RJD alleged in a tweet.

"Ask the unemployed, the farmer, the contract worker and
teacher as to what they are going through. People are angry with the NDA's fraud. We are public representatives and we stand with people," it said.

The RJD, which emerged as the single-largest party in Bihar with 75 seats, also claimed the state is getting a "helpless government by the two helpless parties".

The party also took a dig at Nitish's reported remark at Sunday's NDA meeting that he did not want to become the chief minister but that the BJP insisted he continue in the post.

"I did not want to become chief minister because my party came third and also I was tired. But, several BJP leaders grabbed my feet, started crying and pleading before me. I, being a soft-hearted, power-hungry mendicant, was moved. How could I annoy them," the RJD said in a tweet laced with sarcasm.

Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha said they were with the RJD. The CPI, CPI-ML and CPM also stayed away from the swearing-in.

"We have been fighting against them (the NDA) so how come we can be part of their crowning," CPI-ML state secretary Kunal earlier told news agency PTI.

However, soon after Nitish was sworn in, Tejashwi extended his best wishes, saying, "I hope that instead of (focusing on) the ambition of the chair, he makes the aspirations of Bihar's people and positive issues such as NDA's 19 lakh jobs, education, health, income,  irrigation and hearing the government's priorities."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the JD(U) leader as well as the other leaders who were sworn in as ministers, assuring all possible support from the Centre for the state's welfare.

Lok Janshakti Part (LJP) leader Chirag Paswan took a dig at the JD(U) chief while congratulating him, saying he hopes Nitish Kumar remains an "NDA chief minister".

Paswan, whose Lok Janshakti Party had walked out of the NDA in Bihar vowing to oust Nitish from power in the state, also congratulated the BJP on "making" him the chief minister.

Paswan also said that he was sending a copy of the LJP's manifesto to the 69-year-old chief minister so that he could work on some of the promises made in it.

"Once again I congratulate you on becoming chief minister and the BJP on making you one," Paswan tweeted along with a website link to his party's manifesto.

The LJP chief  congratulated all  the other ministers and  said the prime minister had achieved a big win in Bihar.

Paswan added that he hoped that the new government would fulfill Modi's dream of Atmanirbhar Bihar.


Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami also greeted his Bihar counterpart on assuming office for a record fourth straight term and wished him all success: "I congratulate you on your assumption of charge as the Chief Minister of Bihar for a record fourth time (term)
and wish you a successful tenur."

The oath-taking ceremony took place in Patna a day after day after Nitish staked claim for the formation of a new government in the state, after receiving unanimous support of all legislators of the NDA despite his party's tally plummeting in the recent elections.

The 69-year-old  is on course to becoming the longest-serving chief minister of the state, surpassing the record of Shrikrishna Singh who held the top post since before Independence till his death in 1961.

Nitish has had a continuous run since November 2005, except for the period in 2014-15 when Jitan Ram Manjhi occupied the post.

Nitish was first sworn in as CM in 2000, for a term that lasted barely a week as he failed to muster a majority and returned as a minister at the Centre in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

Five years later, he came back with the JD(U)-BJP alliance winning a majority and upon completion of his tenure returned in 2010 when the coalition won a landslide victory in the Assembly polls.

He stepped down in May, 2014, taking moral responsibility for the JD(U)s debacle in Lok Sabha polls, only to return in February, 2015 when a rebellious Manjhi was elbowed out.

In November 2015, the Assembly polls were fought and won by the Grand Alliance which then comprised JD(U), RJD and Congress with Nitish back at the top post. He, however, abruptly exited the alliance in July 2017, citing irreconcilable differences with the RJD and resigned as chief minister, only to return in less than 24 hours armed with the support of the BJP.

However, former deputy chief minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, with whom Nitish was said to share a good rapport, was not retained and the state got two deputy CMs in Prasad and Devi.

On Sunday, Prasad, four-term Katihar MLA, was named as the BJP legislature party leader while Devi, MLA from Bettiah, was made the BJP's deputy legislature party leader.

Prasad hails from the Kalwar caste, which is a part of the Vaishya community that comes under the backward class category. The 52-year-old BJP leader has risen from the ranks of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), an affiliate of the RSS. Prasad has been winning the Katihar constituency since October 2005.

Renu Devi is from the Noniya caste, which is an extremely backward class community. She has been elected four times from Bettiah and was a minister during Nitish's second term as chief minister.

In the election results for 243-seat Assembly announced on 10 November, the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan lost to the four-party NDA.

The BJP is the largest party within the ruling coalition with 74 seats, followed by JD-U (43) and VIP and HAM with four each. The BJP had announced before the polls that Nitish will remain chief minister irrespective of which NDA constituent wins the maximum number of seats.

The grand alliance bagged 110 seats out of which the RJD accounted for 75 while Congress tally was 19, CPI-ML (12) and CPI and CPI(M) two each.

With inputs from PTI



November 16, 2020 at 07:10PM

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