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Bihar: New NDA Govt Holds 1st Cabinet Meet; Rahul's Yatra Enters State Day After Nitish's Turnover

In his fifth turnover, Nitish Kumar switched allegiance and took oath as the Bihar chief minister for the ninth time on Sunday, bringing in a JD(U)-BJP-led government in the state

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File photo of Bihar CM and JD(U) president Photo: File photo
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Janata Dal-United JD(U) president Nitish Kumar took oath as chief minister for a record ninth time to welcome a BJP-JD(U)-led NDA government in Bihar on Sunday after ditching the 'Mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) and the opposition bloc INDIA. This is Nitish Kumar's fifth swap since November 2005 while being the chief minister.

The last time he turned around was in 2022 when he snapped ties with the BJP in August to join hands with the RJD, the Congress and other Left parties to form the grand alliance and also to remain in power.

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The move by Nitish Kumar comes as a big setback for the opposition (INDIA bloc) unity ahead of the upcoming mega Lok Sabha polls, especially after Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also refused to share seats in the state with Congress.

Meanwhile, the NDA government in Bihar held its first cabinet meeting today, with Deputy Chief Ministers Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Sinha along with other ministers among the attendees at the meet headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at 11:30 am in Bihar's Patna.

Bihar Politics Latest Updates

-Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' Enters Bihar: The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, entered Bihar a day after Nitish Kumar snapped ties with Congress and RJD to form a fresh government with the BJP-led NDA. Rahul Gandhi's Yatra entered through Kishanganj, a district with a heavy Muslim population which is also a party stronghold.

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This is Rahul Gandhi's first visit to Bihar since the assembly poll campaign of 2020. Rahul Gandhi is also scheduled to address a public meeting in Kishanganj, followed by a big rally in the adjoining district of Purnea on Tuesday and another one in Katihar a day later, according to Congress legislature party leader Shakil Ahmed Khan.

He will be leaving for West Bengal on Thursday via Araria district and will return to Bihar a few days later via Jharkhand, said state Congress president Akhilesh Prasad Singh. According to leaders of the state Congress, the party's alliance partners in Bihar like RJD president Lalu Prasad and CPI(ML)-L general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya have been invited to the rally at Purnea. 

Nitish Kumar, the JD(U) president with whom the Congress had shared power till he did a volte face, was also extended an invitation which had been accepted by the veteran leader.

-1st Cabinet Meet Of New NDA Govt Takes Place: The first cabinet meeting of the new BJP-JD(U)-led new NDA government took place today in Bihar's Patna. The meeting was headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, with Deputy Chief Ministers Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Sinha along with other ministers as attendees.

Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary said the development of Bihar was discussed in the Cabinet meeting.

A decision on the fresh nomination of the Advocate General was also expected to be taken up in the first cabinet meeting, reports said, adding that approval for calling the upcoming assembly session was also likely to take place.

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Action Against RJD: After Nitish Kumar's return to NDA, several leaders from the BJP-led fold have reportedly given a no-confidence motion notice to the assembly secretary to remove Assembly Speaker Awadh Bihari Choudhary, a leader of RJD, the party which JD(U) dumped to form government with BJP.

BJP leaders Nand Kishore Yadav and former deputy chief minister Tarkishore Prasad; HAM supremo and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi; JD(U)'s Vinay Kumar Choudhary, Ratnesh Sada, and other MLAs from the NDA alliance gave the notice, seeking the removal of Awadh Bihari Choudhary, an indiatoday.in report said.

Who All Took Oath: Apart from Nitish Kumar swearing-in as Bihar chief minister, BJP leaders Samrat Choudhary and former Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha took oath of office and were named deputy chief ministers.

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JD(U) members Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Vijendra Yadav and Shrawan Kumar, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustan Awam Morcha's Santosh Kumar Suman and independent legislator Sumit Singh also took oath on Sunday, January 28. 

Nitish Sworn In As CM For A Record 9th Time: Swearing in as chief minister for a record ninth time, Nitish Kumar was administered the oath of office by Bihar Governor Rajendra Arlekar at Raj Bhavan in the evening on Sunday in the presence of senior leaders, including BJP national president JP Nadda, hours after he resigned from the post, saying "things were not working well" for him in the Grand Alliance and the opposition bloc.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Nitish Kumar and his two deputies. The newly sworn-in NDA government in Bihar will leave no stone unturned for the state's development and to fulfil people's aspirations, Modi said on X and added that he was confident that the new government in Bihar will serve the people with full dedication. 

Nitish Kumar's Flipflops: Nitish Kumar had joined the 'Mahagathbandhan' in August 2022, when he snapped ties with the BJP accusing it of trying to "split" his JD(U). He formed a new government with a multi-party coalition that included RJD and Congress. Nitish Kumar had first taken oath as the state's Chief Minister in 2000. However, his government fell within a week. He again became chief minister in 2005 and returned to power five years later.

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After his breakup with BJP in 2013, Nitish Kumar still survived in power as the JD(U), which was then just a few members short of the majority mark, got outside support from parties like Congress and CPI, besides a disgruntled faction of the RJD. A year later, though, he stepped down owning moral responsibility for the JD(U)'s drubbing in Lok Sabha elections.

In less than a year, he was back as chief minister, elbowing out his rebellious protege Jitan Ram Manjhi, this time armed with ample support from the RJD and the Congress.

The Grand Alliance that came into being with JD(U), Congress and RJD coming together, won the 2015 assembly polls handsomely but came apart in just two years.

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Nitish Kumar returned to the NDA in 2017, with the hopes to get some traction after taking a stand against corruption taint on his then deputy Tejashwi Yadav.

In the current 243-member Bihar Assembly, JD(U) has 44 MLAs and the BJP 78. Kumar also has the support of one Independent member. Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha, which is already a part of the NDA, has four MLAs.

The RJD (79) along with the Congress (19) and the Left parties (16) have a combined 114 MLAs, eight short of a majority.

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