Patna: Nitish Kumar was sworn in as Bihar’s chief minister for an eighth term on Wednesday, a day after severing ties with the BJP and reuniting with the Mahagathbandhan (RJD, Congress, and Left). RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also took the oath as deputy chief minister in a ceremony at Patna’s Raj Bhavan.
At the Raj Bhavan in Patna, Governor Phagu Chouhan administered the oath of office to them. The rest of the Cabinet Ministers will most likely take their oaths later.
Yadav touched Kumar’s feet after the function. Rabri Devi, his mother, had earlier told reporters that “everything has been forgiven.” She was referring to Mr. Kumar’s decision to join forces with the BJP to form a government after splitting with the RJD in 2017.
Today, 31 ministers were sworn in as members of the Bihar cabinet. The RJD received 16 ministerial berths, while the Janata Dal (United) received 11.
Two Congress legislators, one from Jitin Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha, and Sumit Kumar Singh, the lone Independent MLA, were also sworn in as cabinet ministers.
Mohd Zama Khan, Jayant Raj, Sheela Kumari, Sunil Kumar, Sanjay Jha, Madan Sahni, Shravan Kumar, Ashok Choudhary, Leshi Singh, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, and Bijendra Yadav were among the ministers retained by Nitish Kumar.
From RJD, Tejashwi Yadav’s brother Tej Pratap Yadav, Alok Mehta, Surendra Prasad Yadav and Ramanand Yadav, Kumar Sarvajeet, Lalit Yadav, Samir Kumar Mahaseth, Chandrashekhar, Jitendra Kumar Rai, Anita Devi and Sudhakar Singh, Israel Mansuri, Surendra Ram, Kartikeya Singh, Shahnawaz Alam, Shamim Ahmed took oath.
Congress legislators Afaque Alam and Murari Lal Gautam were also sworn in as ministers, while Hindustani Awam Morcha legislator Santosh Suman was sworn in.
The Bihar cabinet, including the Chief Minister, can have up to 36 ministers. According to sources, some ministerial vacancies were kept open for future cabinet expansion.
Earlier this month, Nitish Kumar broke away from the BJP and formed a coalition government with the RJD and other parties. On August 10, the Chief Minister and his deputy, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, took the oath of office.
According to sources, he believes the BJP is attempting to replicate the Maharashtra model, in which the Uddhav Thackeray government was demolished by a rebellion led by senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, who is now the Chief Minister.
The Bihar Grand Alliance has a total of 163 members. Its effective strength increased to 164 after Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh backed Nitish Kumar.
The new government is expected to win a majority in the Bihar assembly on August 24.