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Nitish & Co take over in Bihar

BJP state chief SK Modi was among 16 cabinet ministers sworn in.Final Tally | Will it make a difference? | Pics

india Updated: Nov 25, 2005 01:18 IST

Senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar was on Thursday sworn in as Bihar Chief Minister at the head of a 27-member NDA government, marking the smooth transition of power after 15 years of Lalu-Rabri rule.

54-year old Kumar, who had a brief inglorious seven-day tenure as Chief Minister in 2000, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Buta Singh at a public function at the historic Gandhi Maidan in the presence of top NDA leaders and hundreds of JD(U) and BJP supporters.

 
     
  
 

LeaderSpeak

 
   
 The UPA alliance may break in a year. 
 

-JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav

 
   
   
 BJP has its ideology and we have our own. 
 

- JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar

 
   
 
 Congress' love for the Lalu-Rabri leadership had cost the UPA very dearly in Bihar. 
 

- LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan

 
   
  
     
 

BJP's state unit chief Sushil Kumar Modi, who was among the 16 cabinet ministers sworn in, will be the Deputy Chief Minister in the two tier ministry. The formation of the government brings to an end eight-and-half months of controversial President's rule.

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP President LK Advani and Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal attended the function while Kumar's predecessor Rabri Devi and other RJD leaders kept away.

National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, whose party is not part of the NDA, was also present.

Commotion at BJP headquarters

Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, there was some commotion at the BJP headquarters here as supporters owing allegiance to some MLAs clashed with one another protesting against alleged non-inclusion of their leaders as ministers.

Angry BJP activists were seen carrying sticks while trying to force their way inside the party office where top BJP leaders, including party Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, party General Secretary and in-charge of Bihar affairs Arun Jaitley were reportedly engaged in discussions.

JD(U), the senior coalition partner, had the lion's share of 10 cabinet ministers and BJP six. There will be 10 ministers of state, eight from JD(U) and two from BJP.

Cabinet ministers

Interestingly, Kumar, who is the 33rd Chief Minister of the state, and his deputy are members of the Lok Sabha. Also, two JD(U) cabinet ministers -- Ramashray Prasad Singh and Narendra Singh -- are not members of any house of the bicameral Bihar legislature.

While Ramashray Prasad Singh was the leader of Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP legislature party in the dissolved previous state assembly and had switched over to JD(U) during its failed bid to form a government in February, Narendra Singh was state LJP chief.

Other JD(U) cabinet ministers are: state JD(U) President Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Brishen Patel, Sudha Srivastava, Monazir Hasan, Ramnath Thakur, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Narendra Narain Yadav and Baidyanath Prasad Mahto.

Besides Modi, other BJP cabinet ministers are Nand Kishore Yadav, NDA Convenor in the state, Chandramohan Rai, Ashwini Kumar Chaubey, Prem Kumar and Janardan Singh Sigriwal.

Suchitra Sinha, MLA from Kurtha, is the wife of former national secretary general of LJP, Nagmani, who parted ways with party President and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

Nagmani refused to support formation of a Nitish Kumar-led government after the last polls threw up a hung assembly.

Nitish Mishra is the son of three times Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra.

The ministers of state from BJP are Ramjidas Rishideo and Ramchandra Sahni.

Thousands of people had gathered at the Gandhi Maidan to witness the oath-taking ceremony and waited for their leaders.

But soon after the milling crowd, to have a closer look at their leaders, broke the barricades and entered even the press and VIP enclosures.

First Published: Nov 24, 2005 02:45 IST