Nitish meets Governor, stakes claim to form govt

Nitish meets Governor, stakes claim to form govt

The newly elected National Democratic Alliance MLAs will meet on Sunday (November 15) and elect Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as their leader. This was decided at a meeting of the four coalition partners - BJP, JD(U), HAM and VIP - at Kumar's residence on Friday.

Nitish Kumar, who earlier on Sunday (November 15) was unanimously selected by NDA partners to be the next chief minister of Bihar, has met Governor Phagu Chauhan to stake claim to form government.

Kumar said the swearing-in will take place on Monday, after meeting the governor.

“The Governor was handed over the letter of support from all four constituents of the NDA. As per his direction, we shall be taking oath at the Raj Bhavan, tomorrow, around 4- 4.30 pm,” Kumar told reporters.

“After the swearing-in, we will convene the meeting of the cabinet where a decision on convening the assembly session will be taken,” he said.

He, however, evaded questions on whether the BJP, which has won more seats than the JD(U) will be given more seats in the cabinet.

Kumar has also been elected the leader of the NDA legislature party.

BJP’s Sushil Modi will remain the Deputy Chief Minister, it was decided at the meeting attended by leaders of the four coalition partners BJP, JD(U), HAM and VIP.

Nitish’s reinstatement makes him the longest-serving chief minister of the Hindi heartland state where election results were declared on November 10.

Despite the BJP emerging as the largest party in the ruling alliance with 74 seats, 31 more than the JD(U), the top leadership of the saffron party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has emphatically endorsed Kumar as the next chief minister.

Kumar was declared NDA’s chief ministerial candidate much before the election process had started. On Thursday, he had said that the final decision on chief ministership will be taken by the BJP, thus indicating a possible change in leadership.

The opposition alliance, comprising RJD, Congress and Left parties, bagged 10 seats, with the Tejashwi Yadav-led RJD becoming the single-largest party with 75 seats.

Related news | Have left the final call to BJP: Nitish on chief ministership, Chirag

“Things will be discussed in detail and all decisions will be taken at that time,” Nitish Kumar was quoted as saying after a meeting of NDA leaders at his residence on Friday.

Another key decision expected is on the role of LJP leader Chirag Paswan. It was widely reported that the BJP had tacitly supported Chirag Paswan to diminish the might of Nitish Kumar. The LJP had fielded candidates against Nitish Kumar’s JD(Ut could win only one seat. However, the LJP badly hurt the ruling party by diverting over 5 per cent of votes from the JD(U). The LJP leader had also earned the name ‘vote cutter’ for such political positioning.

Nitish Kumar had but stated that the role of the LJP can be decided by the BJP. it is also noteworthy that Prime Minister Modi, who addressed over 16 rallies in Bihar during campaigning, has been silent on the LJP’s role.

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