Nitish Kumar to be sworn in as Bihar CM at 10 am, Sushil Modi to be deputy CM; floor test on Friday

After calling it quits as Bihar chief minister and breaking the Grand Alliance between Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal (JDU) and the Congress, Nitish Kumar is all set to be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar on Thursday, with the support of BJP to form the next government in the state.

BJP's Sushil Kumar Modi will also be taking the oath on Thursday, but as the deputy chief minister to replace Tejaswi Yadav. A floor test in the Bihar Assembly will be held on Friday, as Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has given Nitish two days to prove majority.

Nitish unexpectedly resigned on Wednesday night, but hours later joined hands with the BJP to reclaim the government in a stunning political manoeuvre that relegated his alliance partner RJD to the Opposition.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar with senior leader of BJP Sushil Kumar Modi at legislators meeting in Patna on Wednesday. PTI

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar with senior leader of BJP Sushil Kumar Modi at legislators meeting in Patna on Wednesday. PTI

Nitish's reason for resigning was apparently his fallout with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's son Tejashwi Yadav, who is facing corruption charges but had refused to step down despite the JDU leader's exhortations.

"In the circumstances that prevail in Bihar, it became difficult to run the grand alliance government," he had told reporters outside Raj Bhavan on Wednesday after submitting his resignation to Tripathi.

But in a series of fast-paced developments that unfolded over the next few hours, it became clear that Nitish was going to be the ultimate winner. Initially, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised him for standing up against corruption. Later, the BJP said it would support him, and its legislators met Nitish's JD(U) MLAs.

After the meeting, Kumar, accompanied by senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, drove to Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form the government.

The JD(U) chief then handed over a list of 132 MLAs whose support he had, to Tripathi. These include 71 of the JD(U), 53 of BJP, 2 of RLSP, 2 of LJP, one of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and three Independents.

Meanwhile, in no mood to give up without a fight, Tejashwi said the RJD being the single largest party in the state would stake claim to form the government.

However, the numbers are stacked against RJD. The JD(U), BJP, their allies and supporting independent MLAs together account for 132 seats in the 243-member Bihar Assembly, 10 more than the magic figure of 122. RJD has 81 MLAs and even if Congress with 27 MLAs and CPI-ML (03) decide to back Tejashwi, their number would add up to 110.

Reacting sharply to the governor inviting Nitish Kumar for the swearing-in at 10 am after giving him an appointment for 11 am, Tejashwi staged a protest outside Raj Bhavan against it on Thursday.

The RJD also slammed Tripathi, saying that the governor "can't ignore single largest party and largest pre-poll alliance".

Nitish's resignation capped days of stand-off between JD(U) and the RJD, with the former insisting that Tejashwi defend himself against the allegations.

Follow Live updates on the Bihar political crisis

With inputs from PTI


Published Date: Jul 27, 2017 07:50 am | Updated Date: Jul 27, 2017 08:00 am


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