The new NDA government in Bihar was sworn in Monday evening with Nitish Kumar taking oath as chief minister for the seventh time with two deputy chief ministers – Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi from the BJP – in the cabinet namely.
A total of 14 ministers in the new cabinet also took oath. Five of them from the JD(U) and seven from the BJP and two from smaller allies, HAM(S) and VIP.
Kumar was administered the oath of office by Governor Phagu Chauhan at a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhawan which was attended by BJP national president J P Nadda, Union home minister Amit Shah and other prominent BJP leaders including former chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis.
Both Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi were administered the oath after the chief minister indicating their position as number 2 and number 3 in the new council of ministers. They both sat beside Nitish Kumar at the main dais.
The other prominent faces inducted as ministers are former Speaker in the previous NDA government, Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Ashok Choudhary, Mewalal Choudhary and Sheela Kumari (all from the JD(U).
From the BJP, Mangal Pandey, former health minister and Amarendra Pratap Singh, former deputy Speaker and senior party leader, Rampreet Paswan, Jibesh Kumar and Ramsurat Kumar were sworn in as ministers. Paswan took oath in Maithili as he hails from Madhubani district and won from Rajnagar assembly seat. Jibesh Kumar, another BJP MLA from Jale in Darbhanga, was also sworn in as minister . He also took oath in Maithili.
The Mithilanchal region comprising Darbhanga and Madhubani got wider representation in the cabinet with three new faces from the districts namely Paswan, Jibesh Kumar and Sheela Kumari. The BJP and JD (U) performed well in the Mithilanchal region where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed rallies during the campaign.
Santosh Kumar Suman, son of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi and Mukesh Sahani, chief of Vikasheel Insaan Party, also took oath as ministers in the new cabinet. Both HAM(S) and VIP are key smaller allies in the new NDA government having four MLAs each.
Former deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi was also present although he was not seen much in the confabulations throughout the day among JD(U) and BJP leaders at the CM’s residence to decide on the ministerial faces, giving rise to speculations that Modi is apparently unhappy over not being re-appointed as deputy CM in the new government.
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