M A I N   N E W S

Nitish’s swearing-in today
Sushil Modi to be Deputy CM
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, November 23
The NDA leader and Chief Minister designate, Mr Nitish Kumar, today officially staked claim to form the next government in Bihar before Governor Buta Singh marking the end of six months of President’s rule in the state, which began with the dissolution of 13th Bihar Assembly on May 23 this year.

Mr Nitish Kumar will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister at the historic Gandhi Maidan tomorrow at 12 pm. A galaxy of politicians, including former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, NDA convener George Fernandes, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, and a host of others will attend the coronation.

Significantly, 28 years back in 1977 late Jai Prakash Narayan had started his movement against the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi from this Gandhi Maidan, when he was lathi charged, which finally saw the first non-Congress government in independent India.

Before meeting the Governor, Mr Nitish Kumar was elected the leader of the NDA by both elected JD (U) and BJP MLAs at the Assembly council chamber in the presence of the JD (U) parliamentary party president Sharad Yadav, BJP vice-president Venkaiah Naidu, BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti and the state BJP President Sushil Modi this evening.

Earlier, Mr Sushil Modi was elected the leader of the BJP legislature party. Mr Nitish Kumar has reportedly informally chosen him as the Deputy Chief Minister.

Mr Naidu said it was the prerogative of the Chief Minister to officially declare the name of the Deputy Chief Minister.

Mr Naidu evaded a direct reply whether it was the replica of “Maharashtra model” in Bihar with the JD (U) and the BJP sharing the posts of Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister.

Talking to the media after meeting the Governor, Mr Nitish Kumar said about 10 to 12 ministers would also take oath with him tomorrow and the representation would be proportionate to that of the elected numbers of the JD (U) and the BJP.

Out of 143 NDA MLAs, the JD (U) has 87 and the BJP 56.

PTI adds: The Union Cabinet tonight decided to revoke President’s rule in Bihar to pave the way for the formation of an NDA government in the state. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired the meeting lasting 20 minutes. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after the meeting that the recommendation was being sent to the President.


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