Nitish Kumar sworn in as Bihar CM for fourth consecutive term; Renu Devi first woman deputy CM
The NDA has secured a 125-seat majority in the 243-seat strong Bihar Legislative Assembly of which BJP won on 74 seats, JD(U) on 43 while eight seats were won by two other NDA constituents.
PATNA: Amid a boycott by the RJD-led opposition, Nitish Kumar was on Monday sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth consecutive term.
While two BJP MLAs -- Tarkishore Prasad from Katihar, and Renu Devi from Bettiah -- took oath as Nitish Kumar's deputies, a dozen MLAs, including two women lawmakers, were sworn in as ministers.
Governor Phagu Chauhan administered the oath to Nitish Kumar and his ministerial colleagues in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief JP Nadda, and others.
It was the seventh time Nitish took oath as the CM (including four consecutive terms). Bihar for the first time will have two Deputy CMs along the lines of the UP government.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, Nitish chose to avoid questions from the media on why BJP's Sushil Modi was dropped as deputy CM. "It is the sole discretion of the BJP... better ask them," said Nitish.
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"The people have given us another chance to serve and we will do so to the best of our abilities," he said.
Among the 12 MLAs sworn in as ministers were Santosh Kumar Suman, an MLC and son of former CM and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) founder Jitan Ram Manjhi, and Mukesh Sahani, the founder of the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP).
After taking oath as Deputy Chief Ministers, Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi, who is the first woman Deputy Chief Minister of the state, said the NDA government will meet people's expectations and ensure the state's development. "We will focus on fulfilling the promises we made," said Prasad.
Other prominent MLAs who took oath were Vijay Choudhary (ex- Speaker and minister), Vijendra Prasad Yadav, Ashok Kumar Chaudhary, Mewa Lal Choudhary, Jivesh Kumar Mishra, Amrendra Pratap Singh, Mangal Pandey, Ram Preet Paswan, Ram Surat Rai, and Sheela Mandal.
The swearing-in was marred by the absence of RJD's Tejashwi Yadav, who tweeted his congratulatory message to Nitish Kumar with a sarcastic remark that the latter should now arrange 19 lakh jobs (as promised by BJP), education, health care, irrigation, and other welfare measures on priority.
"Best wishes to respected Nitish Kumar ji on being nominated as the Chief Minister. I hope that instead of focusing on the chair, he will make it his government's priority to create 19 lakh jobs and address other issues such as education, healthcare and irrigation," Tejashwi tweeted.
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LJP chief Chirag Paswan also congratulated Nitish Kumar in a tweet, and hoped the government would complete its term with Nitish Kumar at the helm.
Chirag's party won only one seat in the polls though it contested 135 seats, mainly against the JD(U). He said he was sending his party's vision document -- Bihar first, Bihari first -- to Nitish to "help him to prioritize the welfare works".
"Congratulations to you and the BJP for making you the Chief Minister," Chirag tweeted.
The NDA has secured a majority with 125-seats in the 243 seat-strong Legislative Assembly. While the BJP won 74 seats, JD(U) bagged 43 while eight seats were won by two other NDA constituents.
The RJD emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats while the Congress only won 19 of the 70 seats it had contested.