Nitish Kumar on Sunday met Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan, after being unanimously elected as the leader of the NDA in the state and staked claim for the formation of the new government in Bihar. Talking to reporters outside his residence upon returning from the Raj Bhavan, Kumar said the swearing-in ceremony will take place on Monday evening and parried questions about details like whether BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi would be returning as his deputy.
"The Governor was handed over the letter of support from all four constituents of the NDA. As per his direction, we shall be taking oath at the Raj Bhavan, tomorrow, around 4.30pm," Nitish Kumar said who is on course to becoming the longest serving chief minister of Bihar.
"After the swearing-in ceremony, we will convene a meeting of the cabinet where a decision on convening the assembly session will be taken", Nitish said but evaded queries as to whether the BJP, which has won more seats than the JD(U), has sought a greater representation in the cabinet.
When asked about Sushil Kumar Modi, who is known to be close to Nitish Kumar, the CM candidate merely said "all things will be settled". Speculations have been rife that Sushil Kumar Modi may be replaced especially after the senior BJP leader did not accompany Nitish Kumar to the Raj Bhavan but went to the state guest house along with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who had flown down today as an observer of the BJP.
Shortly after Nitish’s return from the Raj Bhavan, Singh and Sushil Kumar Modi met the state governor, fuelling further speculations about the future of the latter in the state’s politics. Katihar MLA Tarkishore Prasad has been elected the party’s leader in the assembly, Rajnath Singh told reporters. When asked if Sushil Kumar Modi will be the deputy chief minister again, Singh said "it will be known in due course."
One of the other names doing the rounds for the deputy CM post is Kameshwar Choupal, a Dalit MLC whose rose to fame after having laid the foundation stone for the Ram temple at Ayodhya during the 1990s.