Nitish Kumar named Bihar CM at key NDA meeting
Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar is set to return for a fourth term as the Chief Minister of Bihar. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA)—which comprises the JD(U), the Bharatiya Janata Party, and other parties—on Sunday elected Kumar as their leader at a meeting in Patna. The NDA had won the Bihar Assembly elections earlier this month. Here are more details.
Kumar elected CM with Sushil Modi as deputy
The NDA meeting was held at Kumar's official residence in Patna. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was also in attendance. At the meeting, it was decided that Kumar will be the CM and Sushil Modi will be the Deputy CM. Their swearing-in ceremony is likely to be held on Monday. Kumar will now reach the Governor's house to stake claim to form the government.
Shortly before NDA meeting, JD(U) named Kumar legislature party leader
Shortly before the NDA meeting, the JD(U) had elected Kumar as the legislature party leader. Kumar had formally tendered his resignation to Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan on Friday to allow the formation of the new government.
NDA won Bihar election with 125-seat majority
The NDA had won the recent Bihar election, bagging 125 seats in the 243-seat state Assembly. The BJP had won 74 seats, while the JD(U) won 43 seats. The other two NDA constituents—Vikassheel Insan Party and Hindustani Awam Morcha—together secured eight seats. The alliance had previously declared Kumar as its CM candidate, however, the decision was questioned after JD(U)'s poor performance in the polls.
'How can you be CM after winning just 40 seats?'
The JD(U) clinched just 43 seats, down from 71 the previous election. The 2020 elections marked the party's worst performance since the 2005 Assembly polls, as Kumar's popularity continued to fade. "How can someone become Chief Minister after getting 40 seats?" Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Manoj Jha told ANI, calling the NDA's majority "wafer-thin." He said the "people's mandate is against him (Kumar)."
Despite being single-largest party, RJD lost
Notably, the RJD—which contested the polls as part of the Grand Alliance—was the single-largest party, clinching 75 seats. The RJD-led Grand Alliance lost due to the poor performance of its allies: the Indian National Congress and the Left. The RJD is now demanding a recount.