JD(U) Chief Nitish Kumar took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the seventh time on Monday in the presence of Union minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda. With this, he also becomes the longest-serving CM of the ruling National Democratic Alliance.
Fourteen other leaders of the NDA – 7 from the BJP, 4 from the JDU, and 1 each from the HAM and the VIP – took oath as ministers in the new Bihar cabinet
Along with Nitish Kumar, BJP leader Mangal Pandey (BJP), Bijendra Prasad Yadav (JDU), Ashok Kumar Choudhary (JDU), Mewa Lal Choudhary (JDU), Sheela Mandal (JDU), Santosh Manjhi (HAM), Mukesh Sahani (VIP), Amarendra Pratap Singh (BJP), Ramprit Paswan (BJP), Jivesh Mishra(BJP), Ram Surat Rai (BJP) also took oaths.
According to sources, the Bihar cabinet will comprise 36 ministers. BJP may have 60 percent of the ministerial berths in the Bihar government, which is about 20-21 posts. JD(U) might end up with 11-12 ministers
Things are also clear over the post of Deputy Chief Minister. BJP stalwarts Renu Devi, and Tarkishore Prasad are the new deputy CMs of the state.
BJP’s tall leader Sushil Kumar Modi will not return as the Deputy CM in the new Nitish-led government. The former Deputy CM took to Twitter to break the news.
He said, “BJP and the Sangh Parivar have given me a lot in the last 40 years of my political life and perhaps no other person would have been given as much. I am willing to accept whatever responsibility comes my way in the near future. No one can take away the post of a worker.”
Tarkishore Prasad has been invincible from the Katihar seat since 2005. He defeated RJD leader Ram Prakash Mahto by a margin of over 10,500 votes. He has been a member of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), an affiliate of the RSS. He held several posts in the organization before joining the BJP. Katihar also shares its borders with West Bengal and Prasad’s track record can be the icing on the cake for the saffron camp in the Bengal polls.
Not only Deputy CMs, but BJP is also pushing for the post of Bihar assembly speaker that would give the party an upper hand over JD(U). BJP emerged as the second-largest party with 74 seats and 19.5% votes in the polls.
“Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is expected to be under the tutelage of BJP this time. The move to have two deputy CMs would help the party high command to keep control over its Bihar flock and not to see any other power center in the state. Speaker in its side means they can control the assembly without any disruption,” said analyst Ujjwal Chowdhury.
Political analyst Chetan Singh feels that the parachute entry of Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi would give a passage to maintain the caste balance in Bihar.
”Nitish Kumar has literally begged the voters for another term on emotional grounds, and not on core issues. Having 2 Deputy Chief Ministers will be a mix of regional, political, caste balance in the new government. This would also ensure the smooth functioning of the Nitish government, without any hindrance,” he said.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who refused to attend the swearing-in ceremony congratulated Nitish and also took a dig at the promises made by the NDA. “Best wishes to respected Shri Nitish Kumar Ji on being nominated as the Chief Minister. I hope that instead of chair’s ambition, he will make 19 lakh jobs and positive issues like education, medicine, earning, irrigation, law and order, the priority of NDA government,” Tejashwi Yadav on Twitter