New Delhi: Fewer than 24 hours after resigning from the post, Nitish Kumar once again became chief minister of Bihar after he was sworn in on Thursday morning to form a government in the state, this time with the support of the BJP and the NDA.
Nitish Kumar and Sushil Kumar Modi arrive at Raj Bhawan in Patna to take oath as Bihar Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively. Even as the ceremony was on, RJD workers in Patna set up blockades and protested Nitish forming the government with the BJP.
Also sworn in on Thursday morning, as deputy chief minister of Bihar, was the BJP’s Sushil Modi, considered by many to be the man who deflated the not-so-grand ‘mahagathbandhan’, or ‘grand alliance’. Until Wednesday, Modi’s post was held by the erstwhile alliance’s Tejashwi Yadav, son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Tejashwi was the cause celebre cited by Nitish as the reason for his resigning as Bihar chief minister on Wednesday evening, hours after Lalu Prasad insisted his son wouldn’t resign after being named in a CBI corruption case.
Soon after Nitish’s resignation was accepted by Bihar governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, Sushil Modi submitted a letter to Tripathi pledging the support of 132 MLAs for Nitish to form the next government. Tripathi then set the time for Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony and said Nitish has to prove his majority in the state Assembly within two days of being sworn in.
“RJD being the single largest party in the state should be given an opportunity to stake claim to form the government,” Tejashwi said.
The JD(U), BJP, their allies and supporting independent MLAs together account for 132 seats in the 243-member Bihar Assembly, 10 more than the magic figure of 122.
The RJD has 81 MLAs, and even if the Congress with 27 MLAs and the CPI-ML with 3 decide to back Tejashwi, their number would add up to just 110.