Nitish Kumar Takes Oath as Bihar CM

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Patna: Nitish Kumar is all set to take oath along with 27 cabinet members in a few moments from now. 12 members from JD(U), 12 from RJD and four from Congress will take oath on Friday.

Senior JD(U) leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhury will be the new Speaker of the Bihar Assembly. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s younger son Tejaswi Yadav is all set to be the Deputy chief minister of the state. He along with family has already come to the dais.

Tej Pratap, elder son of Lalu Prasad, too will take oath as a minister in Nitish cabinet. Most of the leaders invited for the grand ceremony have come on the dais.

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The ministers in waiting too are reaching the venue. Former good and consumer minister Shyam Rajak has been the most prominent leader to be dropped from the cabinet this time.

A large crowd has gathered to witness the ceremony.Senior state BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi and Nand Kishore Yadav too have reached the venue.

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar will take oath on Friday as Bihar’s chief minister again, watched by a galaxy of national leaders ranged against the BJP. He will head the first JD(U)-RJD-Congress coalition to rule Bihar.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi declining to attend the event, the BJP would be represented by party leaders and central ministers M. Venkaiah Naidu and Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The ceremony, to be held at the sprawling Gandhi Maidan, will draw tens of thousands of Mr. Kumar and RJD leader Lalu Prasad supporters besides nine chief ministers, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, NCP president Sharad Pawar, former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and leaders of several other political parties.

The Chief Ministers are Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Tarun Gogoi (Assam), P.K. Chamling (Sikkim), O. Ibobi Singh (Manipur), Nabam Tuki (Arunachal Pradesh), Virbhadra Singh (Himachal Pradesh), Akhilesh Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) and S. Siddaramaiah (Karnataka).

Other political veterans would include CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D. Raja, INLD’s Abhay Chautala, DMK’s M.K. Stalin and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah.

There will also be former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah (Jammu and Kashmir), Sheila Dikshit (Delhi), Bhupinder Hooda (Haryana), Shankarsinh Vaghela (Gujarat), Babulal Marandi and Hemant Soren (Jharkhand) and Ajit Jogi (Chhattisgarh).

According to JD(U) leaders, Nitish Kumar will take oath at the head of a 36-member council of ministers.

The RJD is the single largest party in the house with 80 seats followed by the JD(U) (71) and the Congress (27 seats). There will be 16 RJD ministers, 15 from the JD(U) and five from the Congress in the government. Lalu Prasad’s younger son Tejaswi Yadav is expected to get a plum post.

Supporters of the JD(U), RJD and Congress from across Bihar are expected to pour into the Gandhi Maidan. Hundreds of security personnel would protect the venue and the VVIPs.

The JD(U) state president Vashisht Narain Singh told the media that it was the first time such a large number of top politicians would attend the oath taking of Nitish Kumar.

“Such a thing has never happened. It is the beginning of opposition unity in the country,” he said.

Friday’s gathering would be the first major show of anti-BJP unity since Mr. Modi became the prime minister in May 2014.

Also expected to attend the event are B.R. Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar and reputed Supreme court lawyer Ram Jethmalani.

Earlier, Nitish Kumar had invited BJP veteran L.K. Advani and estranged BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha to the event.

Lalu Prasad and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav will be the main guests at the event.

Lalu’s sons in Nitish ministry, JD(U) to bring new faces

The Nitish Kumar ministry will have 12 ministers from JD(U) with many new faces while Lalu Prasad’s both sons — Tejaswi and Tej Pratap — will be among the ministers from RJD.

Highly placed sources in the Raj Bhawan said the list of ministers has reached Governor Ram Nath Kovind.

JD(U) said there would be many new faces among 12 ministers from the party. Manju Varma, Madan Sahni, Shailesh Kumar and Kapildeo Kamat were among those tipped for ministerial berths.

Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Shrawan Kumar, Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and Jay Kumar Singh, all members of the outgoing cabinet, will also find a place in the new Ministry.

From RJD’s quota of 12 ministers, names of Tejaswi Yadav, his brother Tej Pratap Yadav, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Abdul Gafoor, Vijay Prakash, Chandrika Rai, Mundrika Singh Yadav, Santosh Nirala, Ram Vichar Rai and Sheo Chander Ram were confirmed by RJD sources.

From Congress, state party chief Ashok Choudhary, Madan Mohan Jha, Abdul Jalil Mastan and Awdesh Kumar Singh will be sworn in, said state party sources.

(with inputs from The Hindu)