States & UTs

    Nitish Kumar Sworn in as Bihar Chief Minister for Record Ninth Term

    The Hawk
    January28/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Amidst political upheaval, Nitish Kumar assumes Bihar's Chief Ministerial role for a record ninth time, severing ties with Mahagathbandhan. Deputy Chief Ministers sworn in alongside, as BJP lends support.

    Janata Dal-United (JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar

    Patna: Janata Dal United leader Nitish Kumar has taken the oath of office as Bihars Chief Minister for a ninth time at Raj Bhavan. This significant political shift occurred on Sunday marking the end of Kumars alliance with the "Mahagathbandhan."

    Deputy Chief Ministers Samrat Chaudhary and Vijay Kumar Sinha also took their oaths cementing their positions in the leadership team. The event was filled with chants for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as BJP chief JP Nadda made his entrance.

    The political landscape in Bihar experienced a transformation when Nitish Kumar, after days of speculation resigned as Chief Minister for the second time in less than 18 months. Breaking away from the Mahagathbandhan alliance with RJD and Congress Kumar is now set to form a government with support from the BJP.

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    Nitish Kumar cited discontent within the Mahagathbandhan alliance as his motivation for this decision. He carefully considered suggestions from quarters, including party members before stepping down. Speaking to reporters, outside Raj Bhavan he stated, "Today I have resigned as CM and requested the Governor to dissolve this government. Party leaders provided me advice which I considered before making my decision. The situation was unfavorable."
    So we've cut ties."

    Despite all the chaos Nitish Kumar, known for his skilled maneuvering has consistently maintained his position as Chief Minister by aligning with both the Mahagathbandhan and the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) without causing any divisions within his party.

    The Bihar Assembly, which consists of 243 members represents a political landscape. The RJD holds 79 seats followed closely by the BJP with 78 seats. The JD(U) has 45 seats while the Congress holds 19 seats. Smaller contributions come from the CPI (M L) with 12 seats and minor parties like CPI(M) CPI, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) AIMIM and one Independent legislator.

    Nitish Kumars political journey has been characterized by changes. In 2000 he assumed office as Chief Minister after campaigning against Lalu Prasad Yadavs 'Jungle Raaj' under the RJDs rule. Since then he has served as Chief Minister on eight occasions.

    In 2013 Nitish Kumar ended his alliance with the NDA after being associated with them for seventeen years. He cited dissatisfaction with Narendra Modi being chosen as the BJPs ministerial candidate as a reason for leaving. However in 2017 he realigned himself. Formed a grand alliance with the RJD and Congress only to exit again in that same year due to allegations of corruption and governance issues, against the RJD.
    In 2022 Nitish Kumar again ended his alliance with the BJP claiming that there was a plot against him and efforts to persuade JD U MLAs to revolt. His skill, in maneuvering through the world of politics has always been a defining characteristic of his long lasting political journey.

    —Input from Agencies