Janata Dal United leader Nitish Kumar on Friday took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fifth time. Kumar, who was chosen as the Mahagathbandhan legislative party leader, took oath as the CM at Gandhi Maidan in Patna.
Following Nitish’s swearing in at the event, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s sons Tejashwi and Tej Pratap Yadav also took oath as ministers in the new Bihar government.
Tej Pratap Yadav, who was elected from the Mahua Assembly seat, fumbled while taking oath. The elder son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad could not pronounce the word apekshit (expectations) correctly and instead he said upekshit (neglected) following which Governor Ramnath Kovind asked the Mahua MLA to repeat his oath. But he once again fumbled during the swearing-in.
The oath taking ceremony was attended by several high profile guests, including form Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda also attended the ceremony. Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who was deputed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was also present. CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja also attended the event.
Besides Nitish, 12 members each from RJD and JD(U) and four from Congress were administered oath as ministers by Governor Ram Nath Kovind.
Former JDU 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 JDU – 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.
RJD had won 80 seats in the Bihar poll followed by JDU 71 and Congress 27 totalling 178 in the 243-member Legislative Assembly.
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.