Janata Dal (United) President Nitish Kumar on Sunday evening took oath as Chief Minister of Bihar, for a record ninth time, after breaking ties with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in the state.
Kumar took charge as head of the state administration with the support of the BJP-led NDA at the ceremony held at Raj Bhavan in Bihar’s capital, Patna.
BJP leaders Vijay Sinha and Samrat Choudhary are reported to have taken oath as Deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar.
JDU’s Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Shrawan Kumar, BJP’s Dr Prem Kumar, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular)’s Santosh Kumar Suman and Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh, were among the 8 who took oath as ministers in Nitish Kumar’s new Bihar Cabinet.
Earlier today, Kumar said that “things were not working well” for him in the Mahagathbandhan, and resigned from the post of Bihar’s Chief Minister. He later returned to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Indicating that he was not happy with the way things were going, the 72-year-old leader submitted his resignation to Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar at the Raj Bhavan and later met with the BJP leaders in Patna.
BJP’s in-charge of Bihar Vinod Tawde said, “In the legislative party meeting held today, BJP MLAs approved the proposal to form an NDA government in the state with JD(U)’s support.”
Why did Nitish Kumar quit?
Shortly after submitting the resignation, Nitish Kumar had addressed the media saying “I have submitted my resignation to the Governor. The government that was in place now comes to an end. I have let it go.”
“You all know how I came to this alliance and also how I worked to bring together so many parties. But of late things were not working well. It was not going down well with those in my party as well,” he said.
Nitish Kumar had earlier severed his alliance with the NDA in 2022 by resigning as chief minister and joining the Mahagathbandhan, which included Lalu Yadav’s RJD, the Congress, and the Left parties, accusing the BJP of trying to “split” his JD(U).
And now, he quit the Opposition INDIA bloc, saying things were not working out and suggested forming a new alliance.
“The parties which I had earlier aligned with, if they come together again, things will take place. You all will get to know,” he said.
In the 243-member Bihar Assembly, the RJD remains the single-largest party with 79 MLAs, while the Congress holds 19 MLAs and the Left parties have 16 MLAs.
Currently, the Mahagathbandhan which initially had 159 MLAs, has come down to 114. It was short of 8 MLAs to reach the halfmark, in order to stake claim to form the next government in Bihar.
JD(U) has 45 MLAs and the BJP remains the second largest party with 78 MLAs. Singh Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha, which is already a part of the NDA, has 4 MLAs.
Kumar also had the support of an Independent legislator, Sumit Kumar. With his support, the total NDA tally reached 128 which is six more than the half mark at 122.