JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar on Wednesday took oath as Bihar chief minister for the eighth time in a ceremony at Raj Bhawan. RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav was administered the oath of office as deputy chief minister.
The no-frills ceremony comes a day after Kumar snapped ties with the BJP-led NDA and joined hands with the RJD to form a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government.
Here are the key developments so far.
BJP stages protest
Stripped of power in Bihar, the BJP on Wednesday staged a massive demonstration condemning the “betrayal” of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose similar volte-face five years ago had helped it join the government through the proverbial “back door”.
The `Maha Dharna' (massive demonstration) staged in front of the party office at Birchand Patel Marg was attended by all BJP MPs and MLAs from Bihar who vowed to “expose” the 71 years old JD(U) leader through agitations scheduled at district and block levels later this week.
Formation of Mahagathbandhan movement
Nitish on Tuesday met Bihar's Governor Phagu Chauhan twice. First, he submitted his resignation as the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) Chief Minister of Bihar. Then in the second meeting, he staked claim to form the Mahagathbandhan government.
After parting ways with BJP, Nitish has now entered into a Grand Alliance with the Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD)-led bloc which also comprises of Congress and Left parties. All of these parties had openly extended support to Nitish long before he made it public that he is splitting with the BJP.
Tejashwi Yadav takes oath
Tejashwi Yadav, whose RJD helms the Grand Alliance that elected Kumar as its leader on Tuesday, was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister. This makes his return as the Deputy CM for the second time.
Congress to find a place in the new cabinet
Besides JD(U) and RJD, Congress is expected to be represented in the new cabinet. Left parties CPIML(L), CPI and CPI(M) have expressed their intention to support the new government from outside.
Kumar had on Tuesday quit the BJP, stripping the party of power, before resigning and staking claim to form a new government, armed with the support of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance).
The journey of Nitish Kumar so far
The 71-year-old JD(U) leader first took oath as chief minister in 2000, when he headed an NDA government that lasted only a week. He was back in 2005, this time with his coalition had won an absolute majority in the assembly polls.
The NDA won a landslide victory under his leadership in the assembly polls five years later. Kumar stepped down in 2014, owning moral responsibility for the drubbing of JD(U) in the Lok Sabha polls, but returned less than a year later when he was sworn in for the fourth time.
In 2015, Kumar was back as CM, with the Grand Alliance then comprising the JD(U), RJD and Congress winning a comfortable majority. He resigned in July 2017, citing irreconcilable differences with the RJD, and got sworn in again less than 24 hours later, when he formed a new government with the BJP.
Kumar was sworn in for the seventh time in November 2020, when the NDA retained power, though his own party saw a major fall in its tally for which it blamed a “conspiracy” by the BJP.
(With PTI Inputs)