Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar chief minister (Second Lead)

Friday, November 26, 2010

PATNA - Cheered by tens of thousands of supporters, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar Friday took oath as Bihar chief minister for a second consecutive term after an unprecedented win in the assembly polls. He became the 32nd chief minister of the state.

As a sea of supporters waved party flags and raised slogans, Governor Debanand Konwar administered the oath of office and secrecy to Nitish Kumar on a flower-decked platform at the Gandhi Maidan. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Kumar Modi was sworn in as the deputy chief minister.

Twenty-eight legislators also took oath as ministers. The allocation of portfolios would be announced later.

Nitish Kumar and Modi will head a government of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that crushed Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party in the polls to the 243-member legislative assembly.

According to official sources, a 30-member council of ministers including Nitish Kumar and Modi - 18 from the JD-U and 12 from the BJP — was also sworn in.

Every nook and corner of the main open ground of the city was filled with people, many of whom had come from far off places to attend the event. Thousands came from Nalanda, Nitish Kumar’s home district, packed in jeeps, cars and buses.

Many people, who couldn’t enter the ground, climbed the trees around or took up vantage spots on nearby buildings to watch Nitish Kumar become the chief minister again of India’s third most populous state with 83 million people.

“We have made elaborate arrangements for the function and deployed over 4,000 security personnel in and around Gandhi Maidan,” Patna district magistrate Jitendra Kumar Sinha said.

In 2005 too, Nitish Kumar had taken oath at the same venue. He had been chief minister for just seven days in 2000.

Lalu Prasad had been sworn in at Gandhi Maidan March 10, 1990, and some say at that time too the venue was chosen by Nitish Kumar, who was then very close to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader.

For the NDA, the day is particularly significant as it has returned to power for a second term by sweeping the polls. The JD-U won 115 seats and the BJP 91 seats in the 243-member house in the assembly polls held Oct 21-Nov 20.

Earlier, Nitish Kumar was unanimously elected leader of the NDA legislature party - comprising legislators of his JD-U and the BJP.

He along with other NDA leaders met Governor Debananda Konwar and handed over letters of support from the newly-elected legislators of the alliance.

Filed under: Politics

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