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Highlights | Nitish’s alliance with BJP upsets some in JD(U), CM to seek floor test

Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the Bihar chief minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi took over as deputy CM. Congress described Nitish’s move as “rank opportunism and treachery with people’s mandate”. Lalu Prasad alleged conspiracy charges against Nitish, son Tejeshwi cried vendetta politics.

india Updated: Jul 28, 2017 00:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patna
Nitish Kumar,Bihar news,Nitish Kumar news
In this picture taken on 25 July 2017, Nitish Kumar leaves the Indian parliament after attending the oath-taking ceremony of President Ram Nath Kovind. (AFP)

Less than a day after resigning as Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar took oath on Thursday as the head of the government for the sixth time with Sushil Kumar Modi sworn in as deputy chief minister.

Kumar met governor Keshari Nath Tripathi late on Wednesday with NDA leaders and staked claim to form a new government with support of 132 MLAs. He has been asked by the governor to prove his majority in the Assembly within two days of taking oath.

Here are the updates:

9:39pm: RJD’s Bhai Virender says the party will demand for secret ballot in the assembly. “Then, we’ll know who won and who lost,” ANI reported him saying after RJD MLAs meet in Patna

8:52 pm: RJD supporters threw stones on the Saran district magistrate and superintendent of police Aunsuiya Ransingh Sahu during protests against Nitish Kumar. The protestors were shouting slogans in favour of RJD on Jay Prakash Narayan overbridge in the district, PTI reported.

An FIR has been registered in this connection.

Reports of road blockade and protest march by RJD supporters also poured in from Hajipur and Begusarai among others during the day.

8:35 pm: Meanwhile, senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and Panchayati Raj Minister Pradip Maharathy said the party will not return to the NDA fold, IANS reported.

Talk of a possible BJP-BJD alliance gained ground in the wake of BJD president Naveen Patnaik’s recent stand backing the NDA government’s demonetisation move, GST and the latest presidential choice.

“Nitish Kumar may have believed in ‘Jod-tod Ki Sarkar’, we are not going to have any alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). We are strong enough in Odisha and can counter any party in the ensuing elections,” said Maharathy.

8:30 pm: Two petitions have been filed in the Patna High Court, challenging the formation of the new government, IANS reports.

One petition was filed by Jitender Kumar and the second by RJD legislator Saroj Yadav and Chandan Kumar Verma, contended that the mandate in 2015 Bihar assembly polls was given to Grand Alliance of JD-U, RJD and Congress led by Nitish Kumar against the BJP and it was to rule for five years.

8:17 pm: Bihar Assembly to meet at 11 am on Friday for the trust vote by Nitish Kumar, PTI reports.

8:15 pm:

7:45pm: Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, says he spoke to Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi and congratulated them.

7:30 pm: JD(U) Maharashtra unit head Kapil Patil has criticised Nitish’s decision to go with the BJP. He says the party will decide future course of action in a meet soon.

6:55 pm: The official Rashtriya Janata Dal Twitter account claims Nitish Kumar was threatened by Tejashwi’s popularity.

“Tejashwi proved himself on all fronts and that’s what perturbed Nitish and BJP. Tejashwi Yadav’s performance forced BJP and Nitish to come together so they can collectively fight against him. Nitish was envy of his Deputy as Tejashwi was drawing more crowds and acceptance than Nitish,” the party tweeted.

6:50 pm: Sitaram Yechury tells ANI, “Every few years Nitish Kumar takes oath as CM from different alliances. Quite a record. Straightforward political opportunism.”

6:25 pm: Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav and Azam Khan reacted to the developments in Bihar.

Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav struck a musical note, quoting 1965 Bollywood film Jab Jab Phool Khile, to mock Nitish for allying with BJP.

Azam Khan said the Bihar CM’s name should be “Nitish Tyagi”. “First, he made sacrifice and came in power. This time also, he sacrificed and again came in power. He is a kind of man who sacrifices a lot. He should be named Nitish Tyagi,” Khan told ANI.

6:22pm: After meeting with Sharad Yadav, JD(U)’s Ali Anwar says, “We, including Sharad ji, had no idea that such a big development would happen overnight. We are surprised.’

6: 12 pm: Arun Kumar of JD(U) says, “Sharad (Yadav) ji is concerned over Nitish Kumar’s decision.In 1-2 days Sharad ji will talk to senior leaders of all national parties.”

5:40 pm: JD(U) MPs Veerendra Kumar and Ali Anwar reach Sharad Yadav’s residence in Delhi, ANI reports.

5:20 pm: Sushil Kumar Modi tweets, “With the swearing-in of NDA-2 government in Bihar, the state has also been rid of 20 months of a bad phase. We will not step back from prosecuting criminals and the mafia. We will have inclusive growth with the help of collective effort.”

He adds, “After 37 years, with the same alliance in power both in the state and at the Centre, this is a historic moment for Bihar. With mutual cooperation we will give development new life in every sector. This is the beginning of ‘acche din’ for 11 crore people.”

5:10 pm: Meanwhile in Kerala, as the state JD(U) unit voiced disapproval of Nitish Kumar’s move, the CPI-M made another bid to woo the party.

State Communist Party of India-Marxist Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said his party welcomed the “right reaction” of Rajya Sabha member and Kerala JD(U) chief Veerendra Kumar, who had frowned upon the Bihar developments.

“Now, what the state JD(U) should do is to quit the Congress-led United Democratic Front (in Kerala). Once it is done, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) will discuss taking back JD(U) into its fold,” Balakrishnan told reporters in the Kerala capital.

It is the second time within weeks that Balakrishnan has extended an open invite to the state JD(U) to return to the LDF fold.

5:00 pm: Senior RJD leader Jagdanand Singh says: RJD is the largest party in the state Assembly. We have majority but were not invited by the Governor to form government. The RJD will not allow the Assembly to function.”

4:50 pm: Lalu Prasad tweets:

4:45 pm: RJD MLA Maheshwar Yadav tells ANI that most party MLAs wanted Tejashwi Yadav to resign so that the alliance and the govt could be saved.

“Nitish ji ki aadat hai ki wo apne gathbandhan mein daagi vyakti ko nahi rakhte hain, isiliye gathbandhan toot gaya ( It is Nitish ji’s habit to remove tainted people from the alliance. This is why the mahagathbandhan broke),” he says.

“Affection of children and family makes person weak in politics. Nitish Kumar walks alone and with honesty. That is why he is successful,” Yadav adds.

4:14 pm: The developments in Bihar found mention in the Lok Sabha earlier in the day, IANS reported.

As the House met and took up Question Hour, Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav of RJD raised the issue of the JD(U)leaving the ‘Grand Alliance’ and forming a new government with the BJP.

Yadav was seen shouting from his seat, calling it a “murder of democracy”.

4:12 pm: The JD(U) unit in Kerala opposed Nitish Kumar for tying up with the BJP and announced it was severing ties with him, IANS reported.

The chief of the party’s Kerala unit, MP Veerendra Kumar, a Rajya Sabha member, told reporters in Delhi that he was even ready to quit the Upper House to pursue his fight against “fascist forces”. “Whatever the price, we’re ready to pay,” he said.

“We are not accepting the JD(U) joining the NDA and our relations with Nitish Kumar have ended. It’s shocking that Nitish Kumar has joined the NDA. We all thought that he will fight the fascist tendencies but he has now become a part of it.”

Veerendra Kumar said he expected JD(U) senior leader Sharad Yadav and its MLAs in Bihar not to accept Nitish Kumar’s decision. “I call upon Sharad Yadav and JD(U) MLAs to say that we won’t accept it.”

3: 30 pm: ED registers money laundering case against Lalu Prasad and his family members in a railway hotel allotment corruption case: Official

2:38 pm: JD(U) hits back at Lalu Yadav’s accusation against Nitish Kumar in a murder case.

2:36 pm: Lalu Prasad has a habit of twisting facts: JD(U) leader at press conference.

2:33 pm: Lalu Yadav tweets picture of Nitish Kumar’s affidavit filed with his nomination papers.

2: 30 pm: Sharad Yadav, former JD (U) president, calls a meeting of disgruntled party legislators in Patna in the afternoon.

Around half of the 71 JD(U) legislators are Muslims and Yadavs.

2:20 pm: This, indeed, is a black day for democracy: Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Nitish Kumar switching sides.

“PM questioned political DNA of Nitish Kumar. it has been proved that DNAs of JDU & BJP are identical, its opportunism,” says Surjewala.

2:12 pm: Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad says, “I think it has become Nitish ji’s habit to change parties and stand every few years.”

2:05 pm: JDU member Ajay Alok questions Congress claims that his party betrayed them.

“Congress says we betrayed them, also says this was going on since 3-4 months. How can it be betrayal if they already knew?” he asks.

2:02 pm: Deputy CM Sushil Modi says good days for Bihar will usher in the future, holds Congress and RJD responsible for collapse of grand alliance.

1:45 pm: RJD workers protest against Nitish Kumar in Patna.

1:44 pm: Nitish Kumar thanks PM Modi for his wishes over Twitter.

“There will be no compromise on corruption. I’m confident that with the cooperation of the centre, developement in the state will get a boost,” tweets Nitish.

1:39 pm: RJD MLA Jagadanand Singh says CM & deputy CM must resign, until they don’t, we will not let the Vidhan Sabha to function.

1: 10 pm:Reaction of opposition party members

Mayawati says whatever is happening doesn’t bode well for democracy. People of the country have to come forward to protect this institution from weakening.

Shashi Tharoor tweets, “If after campaigning against BJP you want to join BJP, spirit of democracy requires you2resign&seek a fresh mandate. This is amoral politics.”

“This is now the 3rd time that BJP has formed a state government after losing an election. Goa, Manipur&Bihar show our democracy in poor light”

1:08 pm: We didn’t push them, they went there on their own: Lalu Yadav

“This is all fake news from Delhi ,“ says Lalu Yadav when asked if he was approached to break unity in lieu of some incentive.

1:04 pm: So what if Nitish has gone to the BJP, we will get Mayawati, Akhilesh, Mamata together: Lalu Yadav on Opposition unity.

12: 59 pm: Nitish Kumar government to seek trust vote tomorrow: says Brajesh Mehrotra, principal secretary, Cabinet Coordination Department of Bihar govt.

12:50 pm: Nitish Kumar, the CM of Bihar, my younger brother is accused of murder under sections 147, 148, 149, 302, 307: Lalu Yadav

12: 49 pm: Lalu Yadav says considering to appeal in Supreme Court against governor’s decision.

UP Assembly passes resolution congratulating Nitish Kumar on becoming Bihar CM again.

12:44 pm: Nitish Kumar to prove his majority in a special session of the Bihar Assembly on July 28.

12: 35 pm: Some media who we had thought were good, they took supari. See how the US media is fighting Trump, here media fights opposition.

Amit Shah is the super editor, he decides how news should be & he tells owners of media, who tells editors, not reporters fault: alleges Lalu Yadav

12: 29 pm: This match was fixed. I have not caused any inconvenience for Nitish. On many occasions, Nitish met PM Modi, had lunch. The timing of whatever happened was already fixed: Lalu Yadav

12:27 pm: I charge Nitish Kumar that he collided with BJP to conduct the raids by CBI, ED on RJD leaders and to malign them: Lalu Yadav.

12:23 pm: If I was greedy I would not have made Nitish Kumar the chief minister. He used to say that I’ll perish but never tie up with BJP: Lalu Yadav.

Narendra Modi put up a charade of achhe din and of giving jobs. The BJP is fooling India: Lalu Prasad Yadav

12:21 pm: Nitish Kumar is huge opportunist. The mandate was against BJP, to throw out Modi-Shah out of Bihar: Lalu Yadav

12: 17 pm: PM Modi attacks below the belt, had said that there was fault in Nitish Kumar’s DNA. BJP and Nitish Kumar had a divorce.

Past 15-20 year, I have been fighting cases in courts. I was sentenced in a hurry. There was a conspiracy between Nitish Kumar and BJP: Lalu Yadav

12:15 pm: Will support Modi government in both houses of Parliament: JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi.

12:11 pm: The state of Bihar is a very aware; today everyone in very angry :Lalu Prasad Yadav to reports.

He says it is regrettable there is no Gandhiji among us to unite this country. Amit Shah & Modi’s khandan of Godse - RSS killed him.

11: 51 am: A person can do anything for his greed- there is no limit, no credibility. They do anything for power: Rahul Gandhi on Twitter.

11:50 am: “He (Nitish) had joined hands with us in the anti- communal fight, but Nitish Kumar, for his personal politics, joined hands with those against whom he had fought,” Gandhi says in a seething tweet.

11: 45 am: Dalits,OBCs & EBCs intact & consolidated in Bihar tht’s y RSS & BJP hell bent to reimpose past caste based order in society wth help of JDU: tweets Tejashwi.

11: 41 am: BJP president Amit Shah congratulates Nitish Kumar and Dy chief minister Sushil Modi for “unitedly standing against corruption”.

11:40 am: Frequent change of stand by Nitish Kumar doesn’t show him in good light: tweets Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh.

11:23 am: Digvijaya Singh says if JD(U) had problems with Tejashwi, they could have suspended him, called a RJD-JDU-Cong meeting, there was no need to cheat the grand alliance.

11:11 am: In a series of strongly-worded tweets, Tejashwi Yadav lashes out at Nitish Kumar.

“Vicious greed for power of opportunism will spell it’s own doom. People are not fools that they digest their penchant for wicked power grab, tweets Tejashwi

11: 05 am: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge alleges that BJP tried all tactics to destabilize states where Opposition had government.

11: 03 am: Development will be a priority, will take Bihar to greater heights: Sushil Modi after being sworn in as Bihar deputy CM.

11: 00 am: After taking oath, Nitish Kumar says his decision is in Bihar’s interest and for its development.

11:00 am: Tejashwi tweets saying ally and BJP resorted to “low level vindictive & opportunistic politics”

Vendetta against me exposes their viciousness: Tejashwi.

10:55 am: Scandal- tainted RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav joins the fray in tweeting, says: “Entered in govt with clean slate,keen desire of writing a positive story for Bihar ppl, only to find opportunist rival.”

Allegations against Tejashwi and Lalu triggered the crisis in Bihar, with CM Nitish Kumar claiming he couldn’t stay in the Grand Alliance because his “conscience” didn’t allow it.

10:50 am: Shortly after the swearing-in ceremony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates Nitish Kumar and Dy CM Sushil Modi.

“Looking forward to working together for Bihar’s progress & prosperity,” tweets PM Modi.

10:40am: Nitish Kumar does not care about Indians or the people of Bihar. He only cares about his seat: ANI quotes RJD MLA Bhai Birendra

10:30am: We knew about Nitish Kumar planning to join NDA for the past three to four months. This is the problem with Indian politics, people can do anything for their selfishness... Nitish Kumar has cheated us: TV quotes Rahul Gandhi as saying on Nitish Kumar switching sides.

“Mandate was given to Nitish ji for the anti-communal fight but now he has joined hands with them (BJP) for his personal politics.”

10:07 am: Sushil Kumar Modi takes oath as deputy chief minister for the third time.

10:03 am: Nitish Kumar takes oath as chief minister of Bihar.

10:02 am: RJD protest march cancelled after section 144 imposed around Raj Bhawan in Patna

10:00 am: Governor arrives at Raj Bhawan, ceremony begins.

9:51 am: Nitish Kumar reaches Raj Bhawan in Patna.

9:49 am: Sushil Modi reaches Raj Bhawan in Patna, set to be sworn in as Bihar deputy chief minister.

9:45 am: Will raise the issue in Parliament strongly, will also speak to other parties and protest in front of Gandhi statue: RJD MP JP Yadav.

9: 45 am: JDU MP Sharad Yadav refuses to comment on Bihar political tussle, NDA-JDU tie up.

9:37 am: Nitish ji’s step against corruption is a courageous one. BJP wants development and wants to help bring stability in Bihar: JP Nadda in Patna

9:33 am: BJP MLA Nitin Navin says Lalu is anxious, there is going to be revolt within the RJD.

9:27 am: Bihar governor invites Nitish Kumar to form government.

9:09 am: Preparations underway at Raj Bhavan for oath-taking ceremony of Nitish Kumar.

7:50 am: JD(U) MP Ali Anwar says his conscience doesn’t allow him to support the decision of Nitish Kumar. He says will voice his opinion in the party if given an opportunity.

7: 15 am: RJD supporters block Mahatma Gandhi Setu, connecting north Bihar with Patna, over Nitish Kumar’s resignation and forming government.

4:00 am: “RJD being the single largest party should have been invited to form the government. We are taking legal advice and will move court against the governor’s decision,” Tejashwi tells reporters after the meeting.

This whole drama was planned and Tejashwi was just an excuse for him (Kumar) to go with BJP: Tejashwi Yadav

2:40 am: Tejashwi Yadav meets Bihar governor Keshri Nath Tripathi in Patna to register protest over Nitish Kumar being invited to form his government ahead of RJD.

“Governor gave us time of 11 a.m. and now suddenly has asked NDA for oath ceremony at 10 a.m. Why so much hurry & rush Mr. Honest & Moral?” Tejashwi Yadav had tweeted.

2:37 am:

2:30 am: RJD leaders attempt to storm the Raj Bhawan with Tejashwi Yadav and his brother Tej Pratap and ten other former ministers in the Nitish cabinet. The strong security force deployed in the area wall them back.

12.30am: Lalu Prasad says: “Nitish Kumar has underlined that he is an opportunist. Having done what he has, he cannot stake claim without a challenge. The Congress, CPI-ML and independents will back our claims to form the next government... Struggle is my life. I have to be in Ranchi for the next three days. However, Tejashwi has been asked to present the claim to the governor in the forenoon tomorrow.”

12.07am: Taking a letter of support to governor to stake claim for forming government: Prem Kumar, BJP, on Sushil Modi and Nitish Kumar’s meet with governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 07:38 IST