By Alok Mohit
PATNA: Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar on Sunday severed ties with his Mahagatbandhan allies—the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress, and Left parties—and assumed office as the Chief Minister of Bihar for a record ninth time, this time with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president JP Nadda, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi, LJP (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan were present as Janata Dal (United) chief Kumar and eight new ministers were sworn in amid chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shri Ram.
Along with Nitish Kumar, BJP’s Samrat Choudhary, Vijay Kumar Sinha and Prem Kumar, JD(U)’s Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, and Shravan Kumar, HAM(S) president Santosh Kumar Suman, and Independent legislator Sumit Kumar Singh took oath as ministers. Later, Kumar said Samrat Chaudhury, Vijay Kumar Sinha would be deputy chief ministers.
The political upheaval unfolded earlier in the day when Kumar, who had been spearheading the Opposition against the BJP, submitted his resignation as the chief minister of the Mahagatbandhan (Grand Alliance) government.
Citing reasons for his decision, he said the Grand Alliance that was created in August 2022 was not in a good condition. There were many hurdles in running the government, he said.
“We work for the development and progress of Bihar. We will keep doing the same, nothing else. (RJD leader and former deputy CM) Tejashwi was not doing anything. Now I am back where I was before (in NDA). There is no question of going anywhere now,” affirmed Kumar.
“Eight leaders took oath as ministers today, and the rest will be inducted soon. Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Sinha have been appointed as deputy chief ministers,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his congratulations to Kumar, expressing optimism that the NDA government in Bihar would expedite the state’s development. PM Modi tweeted, “The NDA government formed in Bihar will leave no stone unturned for the development of the state and to fulfill the aspirations of its people.”
Reacting to the developments, Tejashwi Yadav showed up a brave face, predicting the impending downfall of the JD(U) in 2024. JD(U) will be finished in 2024, he said, calling Nitish Kumar a tired chief minister. “The game in Bihar is far from being over,” he declared.
In a sharp retort, Rohini Acharya, Tejashwi Yadav’s sister, took to microblogging platform X (formerly Twitter) to mock Kumar, stating, “Garbage goes back into the dustbin. Congratulations to the dustbin for getting the stinkiest garbage.”
(Author Alok Mohit is former senior News Editor of Hindustan Times Patna and Chandigarh editions; can be contacted at email@example.com)