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Nitish Begins New Innings With 2 Deputy CMs, 12 Ministers

Nitish Kumar sworn in as Bihar Chief Minister.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J.P. Nadda attend oath ceremony amid boycott by RJD, Congress

Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Nitish Kumar on Monday took oath as the Bihar Chief Minister in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J.P. Nadda. BJP MLAs Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi were sworn as Deputy Chief Ministers.

Fourteen ministers, including the two Deputy CMs, took oaths of secrecy–seven from BJP, four from JD(U) and one each from the HAM and VIP. This is the fourth straight term in power for the JD(U) and the seventh time Nitish Kumar has taken oath as the chief minister of Bihar.

Opposition parties RJD and the Congress  boycotted the event.

Governor Phagu Chauhan administered the oath of office to Nitish and his cabinet. One of the two Deputy CMs, Prasad, belongs to the same Bania community as Sushil Kumar Modi who has been dropped after three terms as Deputy CM. He might be accommodated in the Rajya Sabha in the seat that has fallen vacant with Ram Vilas Paswan’s death, and made a minister at the Centre, or named the Governor of a state.

Another Deputy CM, Renu Devi, is from the Nonia caste and has in the past served as BJP’s national vice-president.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav congratulated Nitish on being ‘nominated’: “I hope that instead of his desire for the Chair, he will focus on the aspirations of Bihar’s people, and make NDA’s promises of 19 lakh jobs, providing education opportunities, health and irrigation facilities his priority.”

Earlier in the day, RJD had announced its decision to boycott the oath-taking ceremony on its Twitter handle. “RJD boycotts the swearing-in ceremony. The mandate for change was against NDA. The mandate has been changed into government order… People are upset with the fraud committed by NDA. We are people’s representatives and we stand with people,” said the statement by the party which has emerged as the single largest party after the election.

In the new House of 243, NDA now has 125 seats, BJP 74, JD (U) 43 and allies VIP and HAM(S) four seats each. JD(U)’s tally of 43 this time, down from 71, is its worst performance since the 2005 Assembly polls. Nitish had on Friday said that he did not wish to stay as Chief Minister but it was the wish of BJP.

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