Grand Alliance to NDA: Nitish Kumar changes partner, continues as Bihar CM
Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar chief minister for the sixth time on Thursday, marking a dramatic transition of the state from a Grand Alliance government to an NDA regime.
Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi invited Nitish to form the government late on Wednesday night, hours after the JD (U) leader resigned citing differences with former ally, Lalu Prasad, over corruption charges against the RJD supremo’s son Tejashwi Yadav.
According to a Raj Bhawan statement, Nitish has to prove his majority within two days.
Kumar presented a letter of support by 131 members, including the BJP, two independents and legislators of BJP allies Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM)-Secular and Rashtriya Lok Samata party (RLSP), the comminique issued from Raj Bhawan at 2.51 am said.
“Governor has taken a decision after due deliberations following the submission of letter of support,” it said.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Kumar who had broken off a long alliance with the BJP in 2014, shortly after Narendra Modi was named as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate for the general elections.
He then cobbled together the so-called grand alliance with the RJD and Congress to win the assembly polls in 2015.
Kumar’s resignation ended a month-long uncertainly following the CBI filing an FIR against Tejashwi, the former deputy chief minister in the Nitish cabinet.
Along with Kumar, a BJP leader is also likely to take oath as deputy CM. Union health minister and senior BJP leader, JP Nadda, is expected to arrive in the state capital in the morning.
The BJP quickly extended support to Kumar, apparently to thwart any chance for the RJD claiming to be the single largest party with 80 members.
Though Tejashwi also met the governor to stake claim to the government, it was rejected.
BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said in a tweet that the NDA had the support of 132 members in the 243-member House, which means it also got support from the 4 independents. The JD-U has 71 legislators and the NDA 57.
While the RJD has 80 members, the Congress 27 and CPI-ML 3.