Nitish Kumar Sworn in as Bihar CM for Ninth Time

Reclaims office after alliance shift, BJP's Nadda attends ceremony.

Update: 2024-01-28 12:17 GMT
Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the ninth time.

PATNA: After days of speculation and a flurry of political activities, Nitish Kumar assumed office as Bihar's Chief Minister for an unprecedented ninth time on Sunday, marking a significant political realignment as he rejoined forces with the BJP-led NDA in the state.

He met Bihar governor Rajendra Arlekar and submitted his resignation on Sunday morning. Shortly after he announced his resignation, the BJP swiftly passed a resolution extending support to Kumar to form the NDA government in Bihar.
Talking to reporters after his resignation, Kumar said that he was not comfortable with the working style of the RJD. “We tried hard to make things work but couldn’t. In the given scenario, my party leaders advised me to end the alliance. So I have resigned and there is no grand alliance government anymore,” he said.
Kumar announced that he has also left the 28-party I.N.D.I.A. bloc, which was formed to counter the BJP-led NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
In the evening, he was sworn in as the Chief Minister alongside BJP's Samrat Chaudhary and Vijay Kumar Sinha as Deputy Chief Ministers.
“I was with the BJP earlier, now I have returned. There is no need to go anywhere else now,” Kumar said after his swearing-in on Sunday. Others who took oath as ministers were Prem Kumar from the BJP quota, Vijendra Yadav, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary and Shrawan Kumar from the JD(U) quota. One Cabinet berth each was allotted to Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi’s son Santosh Kumar Suman and Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh.
BJP president J.P. Nadda and a few other BJP leaders also flew in from Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Nadda held a meeting on the premises of Raj Bhavan with Kumar. Insider sources disclosed that the leaders engaged in discussions regarding strategies to fortify the NDA in Bihar in preparation for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing a press conference after the swearing-in ceremony, Nadda launched a scathing attack on the RJD-led mahagathbandhan and the I.N.D.I.A. bloc, calling it an unholy alliance.
“Recently, it was observed that the law and order scenario in Bihar was deteriorating. The BJP-led NDA will give stability to the government and also help in controlling the law and order situation. I am also confident that the NDA will sweep in the coming Lok Sabha under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and we will also form the government in the 2025 Bihar Assembly elections,” he said.
Targeting the I.N.D.I.A. bloc, Nadda said, “This is an unholy and unscientific alliance that cannot survive. The Bharat Jodo Yatra and Nyay Yatra failed. Everyone is aware of what Mamata Banerjee did with the I.N.D.I.A. alliance in West Bengal and the same thing happened in Punjab. In Bihar, everyone has also seen what happened to this alliance. The I.N.D.I.A. alliance is a parivar bachao
, sampatti bachao (save family and property) alliance, and nothing else. People who are in the alliance are facing corruption charges. Today, the nation, under the leadership of Modiji, is moving towards knowledge and development. The youths are progressing and women are being strengthened.”
Talking about the formation of the NDA government, he said, “I am confident that the NDA government under the leadership of Nitish Kumar Bihar will progress. This is the double-engine government and we believe in the slogan,
Sabka saath, sabka vishwas aur sabka prayas
. I also feel that this government will take Bihar towards development.”
Sources revealed that the JD(U)-BJP strategically allocated Cabinet berths to accommodate forwards, OBCs, EBCs and dalits, aiming to strengthen the voter base and counter the Opposition by keeping the Lok Sabha and 2025 Bihar Assembly elections.
However, disappointment pervaded within the JD(U), as none of the MLAs from the minority community were included in Kumar’s Cabinet. The BJP, in a strategic move aimed at bolstering support among the OBC voter base, has also appointed Chaudhary as Deputy Chief Minister. Political analysts suggest that the BJP’s decision could pose challenges for Kumar, given Chaudhary’s reputation for taking a firm stance against him. Upon being appointed as the state president of the BJP in 2023, Chaudhary tied a saffron turban, pledging to keep it fastened until the removal of Kumar from the chief ministerial post.
On being designated as Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, the BJP state president thanked the party and said, “The NDA government has been formed to end the terror of the RJD and Jungle Raj in Bihar. The government will work for the development of the state.”
Union minister Nityanand Rai, who has been camping in Patna for the past week, said, “After the formation of the NDA government, the state will move forward on the path of development.”
The BJP leaders also exuded confidence that the NDA will win all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be elected for the third time. Reports suggest that the JD(U) and BJP also finalised seat-sharing agreements for the Lok Sabha election due in three months.
In August 2022, Kumar had snapped ties with the BJP and formed a Mahagathbandhan government with the support of the RJD, Congress and Left parties. The government survived for seventeen months.

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