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Nitish wanted Muslim deputy, gets OBC Modi

The BJP has given Nitish Kumar an OBC deputy though the JD(U) would have preferred a Muslim for the post.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2005 02:12 IST

The BJP has given Nitish Kumar an OBC deputy though the JD(U) would have preferred a Muslim for the post.

Sushil Kumar Modi, who heads the BJP’s Bihar unit, was elected the leader of the BJP legislature party on Wednesday, making him the party’s choice for the deputy CM’s post.

The decision to nominate Modi came after a two-hour party meeting, in which the names of Shahnawaz Hussain and Ashwini Choubey were also discussed.

BJP vice-president Venkaiah Naidu said: “The choice of Modi was natural as he had been consistently fighting Lalu in Bihar for the past 15 years.”

In the afternoon, Nitish flew to Patna where a huge crowd of supporters greeted him at the airport. After being elected as the leader of the NDA legislature party, he drove to the Raj Bhavan and staked claim to form the government before Governor Buta Singh, giving him a list of 132 legislators. The governor invited him to form the government on Thursday.

The CM-designate said his 13-member team would include seven members from the JD(U) and six from the BJP.

Nitish will take oath for the second time as the CM of Bihar — the 23rd in the state’s history — at Gandhi Maidan near which Lalu Prasad Yadav had taken oath as CM 15 years ago.

The oath-taking ceremony will be held on a grand scale, with several senior political leaders and CMs of states ruled by the BJP and its allies expected to turn up.

Lalu, however, will give it a miss.

First Published: Nov 24, 2005 02:12 IST