PATNA — Nitish Kumar, who along with RJD chief Lalu Prasad, steered the Grand Secular Alliance to a landslide mandate of over two-thirds majority in Bihar assembly poll, will be sworn in as Chief Minister on Novermber 20 for a third term along with his new cabinet.
Kumar, who was elected the leader of the Grand Alliance legislature party paving the way for his becoming the CM, told reporters outside Raj Bhawan after meeting Governor Ram Nath Kovind that he will take oath as Chief Minister on November 20 at 2 PM at Gandhi Maidan here.
Emerging from Raj Bhawan after about a 45 minute meeting, he said all the three parties of the alliance – JD(U), RJD and Congress would be part of his new cabinet.
In reply to a question by newsmen as to how many ministers would take oath with him on November 20, Kumar merely said the maximum limit for Bihar House was fixed at 36.
Asked if Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP veteran L K Advani would be invited to the oath-taking function, Kumar said these matters “would be decided in due course and the media would be informed.”
Kumar was earlier elected the Allaince’s legislature party leader at its meeting and he later met the Governor staking claim to form government.
Lalu Prasad, his JD(U) counterpart Sharad Yadav, Congress General Secretary C P Joshi, JD(U) General Secretary K C Tyagi and state presidents of JD(U), RJD and Congress Basistha Narayan Singh, Ramchandra Purve and Ashok Choudhary respectively accompanied Kumar to the meeting with the Governor.
The oath-taking will take place after ‘Chhath’ festival, the major religious event in the state, which starts from tomorrow and ends on November 18.
Bonhomie between RJD and JD(U) was on display when former Chief Minister Rabri Devi proposed Kumar’s name as Legislature Party leader of the Alliance, which was supported by C P Joshi.
RJDLP had yesterday in a meeting put a stamp of approval on the name of Kumar as Legislature party leader of the coalition.
The newly-elected leaders of RJD met again at 1 PM today at the residence of Rabri Devi and from there proceeded to the Legislative Council Annexe for meeting of legislature party of the alliance.
Prasad, who emerged as the king-maker as he is barred from fighting elections due to his conviction in a fodder scam case, did not announce the name of the RJDLP leader, sparking speculations that he might anoint his younger son Tejaswi Yadav, who won from Raghopur seat, to the post as a gesture of handing over his legacy to him.
RJD is the single largest party in the Grand Secular Alliance with 80 seats followed by 71 of JD(U) and 27 of Congress.
In the 243-member Bihar House, 122 is the magic figure for formation of government.
BJP-led NDA managed just 58 seats. BJP itself won 53 while its three allies LJP, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and Hindustani Awam Morcha together secured only 5.
The assembly poll victory, which has dealt a blow to BJP in general and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in particular, has come as a trophy for Lalu and Nitish whose parties were decimated in Lok Sabha elections last year.