Nitish Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav take oath as CM, deputy CM
A day after high-voltage political drama in Bihar, Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav took oath as the new chief minister and deputy chief minister of Bihar, respectively, on Wednesday. The two leaders are the first to take oath in the new "Mahagathbandhan 2.0" cabinet of Bihar: an alliance between bigwigs Janata Dal (United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) with five other parties. Here's more.
- Coalition partners in Bihar since 2017, the JD(U) and BJP had been at loggerheads in the recent past due to a variety of issues.
- Kumar skipped several meetings with BJP recently and finally broke off the alliance to return to the RJD and other parties on Tuesday.
- To recall, Kumar abandoned the RJD and the "Mahagathbandhan" government to join hands with BJP in 2017.
Kumar and Yadav took their oath at the Raj Bhavan in Patna in a low-key swearing-in ceremony. This is the eighth time Kumar has been sworn in as Bihar's CM and the second time that Yadav has been sworn in as the Deputy CM. Speaking to reporters, Kumar said, "The party made the decision together [to leave the BJP]... I will not live in...2014."
Kumar slammed the BJP after the oath-taking event and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should now worry about the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. "Those who came to power in 2014, will they be victorious in 2024? I would like all [opposition parties] to be united for 2024. I am not a contender for any such post (the PM post)," the chief minister said.
The cabinet expansion is likely to take place after August 15. As per reports, the RJD should bag the lion's share of cabinet berths—20 of the 35 portfolios—due to its largest seat share in the Bihar Assembly. The JD(U) will retain all its posts and add one more for former MoS Upendra Khushwaha to have 11-13 cabinet berths. Congress may be allotted four portfolios.
These developments come a day after a surprise resignation by Kumar. After breaking off the alliance with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and submitting his resignation, Kumar returned to the Raj Bhavan with Yadav to stake a claim for a new alliance government on Tuesday. Both leaders said they were ready to serve the people of Bihar with the "Mahagathbandhan 2.0" government.