Patna: Nitish Kumar took oath Sunday evening for the fourth time as the chief minister ending a month long political turmoil in Bihar. He was sworn in along with 22 legislators who had earlier served as ministers in his cabinet.
As speculated, RJD and Congress while extending their support to the new chief minister decided not to join him in his cabinet. Nitish Kumar had earlier expressed his desire and is said to have offered them cabinet berths but the leaders of both the parties turned down the offer saying they would continue to give outside support to his government.
“I expect Nitish Kumar to deliver as he had been doing, he will have full support from our party,” senior congress leader Moti Lal Bora said in Patna on Sunday.
The leaders of JD (U) hinted that the oath taking ceremony not only ended the political row but also served as big platform for the merger of Janata Pariwar.
Earlier the tussle for power within the party had halted the ongoing process; the sources said the senior leaders would soon be meeting in New Delhi to give it a final shape. They said after the wedding ceremony of Lalu Yadav’s daughter with Mulayam Singh Yadav’s grandson was over they are likely speed up the process.
“All of us are eagerly waiting for the process of merger to take final shape as we have a big goal ahead of us. Soon all the leaders will meet in New Delhi and merger will finally be announced by Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav”, one of the JD (U) leader said.
The oath ceremony of Nitish Kumar was attended by former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Congress senior leader Moti Lal Bohra and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha Chief Babulal Marandi. However RJD chief Lalu Yadav and Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav could not attend the oath ceremony due to the marriage ceremony in their family.
“We will pin down the BJP here and they will bite the dust here as they did in Delhi”, JD (U) general secretary KC Tyagi said in Patna.
Lashing out at Nitish Kumar the BJP accused him of joining hands with RJD to pursue his personal ambition to become the chief minister. They said his reinstatement as the chief minister came at the cost of people’s safety as the mandate was against the RJD and the congress.
“Nitish Kumar made a very big mistake by shaking hands with those who are considered mascot of Jungle Raj. Nitish Kumar has betrayed the trust of the people of Bihar and mandate”, senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav said in Patna after the oath taking ceremony.
Hitting back strongly at the BJP for their allegations against Nitish Kumar the JD (U) leaders alleged that after their failure to create turmoil in the state the leaders of BJP now feared his return as the chief minister. The JD (U) said that good governance and strict law to deal with criminals is the main agenda of his government.
“They didn’t expect that Nitish Kumar will return and now when he has return they are scared to face him. Good governance and law and order is Nitish Kumar’s main agenda and not only this he is also going to expose several misdeeds of BJP”, JD (U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said.
On the other hand the former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and his supporters observed a black day by fasting. The JD (U) leaders taking a dig at him said that Mr. Manjhi was trying to draw public attention by fasting.
“This could be a black day for few especially the BJP who didn’t expect Nitish Kumar to return as the chief minister. This is nothing but an effort to seek public attention”, JD (U) general secretary KC Tyagi said in Patna.