Nitish Kumar on Monday took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth straight term. Along with the senior JD(U) leader, 14 other ministers were also sworn in. All the leaders were sworn in by Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan at Raj Bhavan. Nitish Kumar, after meeting Governor Phagu Chauhan to stake claim to form NDA government in Bihar, had on Sunday announced that the oath-taking, as well as the swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet, will be held at around 4.30 pm today.
The leaders of the NDA legislature party, which had secured a slim victory in the recently-concluded election in Bihar, had on Sunday met to deliberate on selecting a leader to lead the party. It had named Nitish Kumar as the leader of the NDA legislature party thus paving the way for his return as chief minister for the fourth consecutive term.
Leading up to the election BJP had maintained that Nitish Kumar will continue to serve as the chief minister of the state. The NDA won the state election last week with a wafer-thin majority and got 125 of Bihar’s 243 assembly seats, three above the halfway mark.
Nitish Kumar got the first taste of victory, after three successive defeats, in the 1985 assembly polls when he won from Harnaut as a candidate of the Lok Dal though the Congress swept the elections riding the tailwind generated by the assassination of Indira Gandhi the previous year.
Four years later he entered the Lok Sabha from Barh even as fellow MP from Saran Lalu Prasad shifted to Bihar, taking over as the chief minister and scripting a spectacular success story which altered the state’s political landscape. Kumar, one of the most articulate leaders of the Janata Dal, had fully backed Lalu in the keenly fought internal contest for chief ministership.
The next decade-and-a-half saw Prasad’s rise as one of the most powerful but controversial figures of his time who ruled the state by proxy, getting his demure homemaker wife Rabri Devi elected as his successor, when a charge sheet in fodder scam caused him to step down as the chief minister.