A day after resigning from the post, Janata Dal United JD(U) Chief Nitish Kumar was again sworn in as the chief minister of Bihar for the sixth time with the support of NDA on Thursday morning. He was administered the oath by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister. The new JD(U)-BJP alliance will have to prove the majority in the floor test on Friday.
In a stunning development, Nitish called off the 20-month-old grand alliance or ‘mahagathbandhan‘ between his party JD(U), Congress and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Wednesday evening stating he could no longer continue amid allegations of corruption in his government.
However, RJD Chief Lalu Yadav called Nitish’s resignation a staged drama which he had scripted with the help of the BJP. Here is a look at all the developments that took place after Nitish’s resignation yesterday.
Nitish Kumar on his decision:
Kumar said that the “collective” decision to part ways with the RJD and join hands with BJP was taken in the interest of the state and its people. He said, “Whatever decision we have taken will be in the interest of Bihar and its people. It will ensure development and justice. It will also ensure progress.”
Meetings of Bihar leaders with Governor
Bihar BJP leaders including Sushil Modi and Nityanand Rai met Governor Tripathi to submit the letter of support to Nitish Kumar. Earlier the swearing in ceremony was scheduled for 5 pm on Thursday but it was later rescheduled for 10 in the morning. Tripathi asked JD(U)-BJP alliance to prove majority in floor test after Tejashwi Yadav registers his protest against Nitish’s decision to form a government with BJP.
Tejaswi Yadav attacks Nitish Kumar after swearing-in ceremony
Tejashwi accused Nitish of “betraying” the mandate by the people of Bihar and said he had the support of most JD(U) MLAs. He also said, “I’m confident that most JD(U) MLAs who are committed to social justice will vote against the government in the floor-test.” Like his father, he also described Kumar’s resignation as a “pre-planned conspiracy” between him and the BJP.
Branding Nitish’s move as opportunistic, Tejashwi also said, “Entered in government with a clean slate, keen desire of writing a positive story for Bihar people, only to find opportunist rival.”
Lalu Yadav launches attack on Nitish for joining hands with BJP
Upset with Nitish’s decision to break the Mahagathbandhan, Lalu Yadav called a press conference and attacked the JD(U) chief for compromising with morality. He claims a fixed match between JD(U) and BJP. “There had been a setting with the BJP. When someone asked him (Nitish) if he could go with BJP, he did not say no. It clearly suggests BJP setting. The PM’s congratulatory tweet followed to prove my point.’’ Lalu also accused Nitish of being involved in a murder case. He said, “How can he ask for Tejashwi’s resignation when he faces such a serious case as murder that entails life imprisonment and capital sentence?”
“He is an accused under 302 of IPC. How did he become chief minister?” Lalu asked claiming that his former ally Nitish was afraid of the Centre targeting him in the case if he did not go with the BJP.
He also alleged that Nitish had used his son’s Tejashwi case as an alibi to switch camps. He said, “Nitish’s support for demonetisation, the surgical strike and his party’s vote for Ram Nath Kovind for President served as early indications that he would join hands with BJP.”
Lalu further said, “It is regrettable there is no Gandhiji among us to unite this country. Modi’s family of Godse-RSS killed him.” “How will Nitish face the people of Bihar after promising he wouldn’t return to BJP?” he asked.
Blaming BJP, Lalu said, “They (BJP) wanted to pin the blame on Tejashwi. They were afraid that Tejashwi would come up as a worthy opponent in 2019. This is a conspiracy by Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. This is nothing but political vendetta.”
Rift within the JD (U) on Nitish’s decision
Slamming Nitish, JD(U) MP Ali Anwar said his conscience does not approve of Nitish Kumar’s decision to form a government with NDA. He said, “Though Nitish ji’s decision to form a government with BJP was his call of conscience, my conscience doesn’t allow me to support this move.” Kerala JDU president Veerendra Kumar and Ali Anwar meet Sharad Yadav to express their displeasure.
Rahul Gandhi says he knew Nitish is going to ally with BJP
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi also reacted to Nitish’s decision on Thursday saying the Congress knew about the decision. He said, “We knew about Nitish Kumar planning to join NDA for the last three to four months.”
Gandhi also said that mandate was given to Nitish ji for the anti-communal fight but now he has joined hands with them for his personal politics.” Hitting on Nitish, Gandhi said people could do anything for their own self-interests.
Sushil Modi promises Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas
After taking oath as Deputy CM of Bihar, Sushil Modi said, “With the swearing-in of NDA-2 government, today Bihar got freed from dark phase of 20 months. Strict action will be taken against criminal-mafias. Our next step will be ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’. I express my gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his wishes.”
He also said, “It is a historic moment for Bihar, when after 37 years, both centre and state will have a government of same alliance. We will give development a new speed. ‘Acche din’ for 11 crore people will start now.”
JD(U) has 71 MLAs in the House, NDA 58 and Congress 27. While JD (U) and NDA together cross the halfway mark, RJD and Congress only have 107, which is 15 short of simple majority. Kumar had parted ways with the BJP in 2013, citing the looming “hegemonic” presence of a leader in the saffron party.
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