Often called the 'Chanakya' of Bihar politics, Nitish Kumar, whose solid developmental work in Bihar was intrumental in delivering him the state for a third straight term, was on Friday sworn in as chief minister for the fifth time in his long and illustrious career.
He was joined at the ceremony at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna by RJD chief Lalu Prasad, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdullah among others.
Lalu's sons Tejaswi and Tej Pratap took oath as ministers in the Kumar government. Governor Ram Nath Kovind had to interrupt Tej Pratap for mispronouncing a word during the oath.
Tej Pratap Yadav takes oath of office in Nitish Kumar's cabinet. He makes an error & is asked to repeat oath pic.twitter.com/7vC5xHAmjp— ANI (@ANI_news) November 20, 2015
Nitish Kumar takes oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar at Gandhi Maidan in Patna. pic.twitter.com/0L47AnCTHt— ANI (@ANI_news) November 20, 2015
Patna Divisional Commissioner Anand Kishore has said more than 2,000 security personnel are deployed at the venue.
The Bihar elections saw the return of Kumar leading a grand alliance of his party of Janata Dal (United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal despite a charged BJP campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The NDA won 58 seats, with the BJP bagging 53 seats in the 243-seat Bihar assembly.
The Mahagathbandhan scored a landslide with 178 of the 243 seats, with Kumar's JD(U) winning 71 seats. Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD emerged as the single largest party with 80 seats.
Twent-eight ministers took oath as the grand alliance government of RJD-JD(U)-Congress was sworn in at a mega ceremony attended by several top leaders from non-BJP parties.
Besides Nitish, 12 members each from RJD and JD(U) and four from Congress were administered oath as ministers by Governor Ram Nath Kovind. Speculation is rife that first time MLA Tejaswi, who was the second person to be sworn in after Nitish at the event held at Gandhi Maidan, will be made Deputy Chief Minister.
Portfolios OF the ministers are likely to be allocated soon.
A galaxy of leaders including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, and a number of Congress Chief Ministers were present at the swearing in ceremony of the new Bihar government.
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who was deputed by Modi, was also present. CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D Raja also attended the event.
Former JD(U) state President Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Shrawan Kumar and Jay Kumar Singh, all members of the outgoing cabinet also took oath besides former MP Maheshwar Hazari, Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma, Santosh Nirala and Khurshid alias Firoz Ahmad.
New members in the cabinet from JD(U)-- Shailesh Kumar, Kumari Manju Varma, Madan Sahni and Kapildeo Kamat also took oath.
Hazari, a cousin of Ram Vilas Paswan had defeated the LJP chief's nephew Prince Raj from Kalyanpur assembly seat. In Lok Sabha elections earlier, he had defeated Paswan's brother Ram Chandra Paswan.
From RJD quota besides Lalu's sons, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Abdul Gafoor, Vijay Prakash, Chandrika Rai, Alok Kumar Mehta, Ram Vichar Rai, Sheo Chander Ram, Muneshwar Chaudhary, Chandrashekhjar and Anita Devi took oath.
Anita, the lone woman minister from RJD defeated senior BJP leader Rameshwar Chourasia in Nokha assembly segment.
From Congress, party chief Ashok Choudhary, Madan Mohan Jha, Abdul Jalil Mastan and Awdesh Kumar Singh were sworn in.
As per constitutional provision of cabinet quota being fixed at 15 per cent of the House strength, Nitish Kumar could have a maximum of 36 members, including himself, in the ministry.
(With PTI inputs)
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