M A I N   N E W S

Nitish sworn in Bihar CM
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, November 24
All roads in Patna today converged at the historic Gandhi Maidan where NDA leader Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the 32nd Chief Minister of Bihar by Governor Buta Singh.

Mr Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) presently would be heading a 26- member Cabinet, including Deputy Chief Minister designate Sushil Modi of the BJP, as both partners of the NDA in Bihar decided to follow the 'Maharashtra model' to share power.

Mr Nitish Kumar tried to offer a socially balanced Cabinet ever since the 'Mandalisation' of Bihar politics in 1990 as the voters by and large had responded to his call this time to vote more as Biharis than anything else in order to end the “Lalu-Rabri raj”.

Besides a huge crowd who came with colourful posters and banners to witness the change of baton from one disciple of the legendary socialist leader Jay Prakash Narayan, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav to the other, Mr Nitish Kumar, there were a galaxy of politicians from the NDA who attended the swearing-in ceremony.

The lists included former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, son of Om Prakash Chautala, Ajay Chautala, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, NDA Convenor George Fernandes, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, former UP Chief Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, BJP National General Secretary Arun Jaitley, among others.

While Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Babulal Gaur and his bete noir, Uma Bharti, shared the dais in presence of Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani, the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi could not make it to Patna due to reported objection from the JD(U).

A 26-member Cabinet, comprising 18 from the JD(U) and eight from the BJP took oath along with Mr Nitish Kumar.

The list of ministers included 12 from the upper caste, seven from other backward castes (OBCs), five from extreme backward castes (EBCs) and two Muslims.

Unlike the Cabinet headed by Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife Ms Rabri Devi, Mr Nitish Kumar`s Cabinet included 'more Yadavs' and 'less Kurmis and Koiris'.

The Cabinet also included two women and a youth.

The jubilation was evident as virtually the entire state capital took to the streets today resulting in huge traffic jams as people celebrated the end of 15 years of alleged misrule by the RJD.

Even though Mr Nitish Kumar promised not to pursue politics of vendetta, there were slogans from the crowd “Go back Buta Singh.” After the swearing-in ceremony, Mr Nitish Kumar drove straight to the ashram of Jai Prakash Narayan in Patna to pay homage to his political guru.

The BJP members in the new Council of Ministers are:- Mr Sushil Kr Modi, Mr Nand Kishore Yadav, Mr Chandra Mohan Rai, Mr Prem Kumar, Mr Ashwini Kr Choubey, Mr Janardan Singh Sigriwal, Mr Ram Chandra Sahani (state minister) and Mr Ramji Das Rishiraj (state minister).

The JD (U) members in the Cabinet are: Mr Ramashray Pd Singh, Mr Narendra Singh, Mr Brishin Patel, Mr Monazir Hasan, Mr Ramnath Thakur, Mr Jitan Ram Manjhi, Mr Bijendra Pd Yadav, Ms Sudha Shrivastav, Mr Narendra Nr Yadav (state minister), Mr Baidyanath Pd Mahto (state minister), Mr Nitish Mishra (state minister), Mr Vishwa Mohan Kr (state minister), Mr Arjun Rai (state minister), Mr Manjar Alam (state minister), Dr Anil Kumar (state minister), Mr Gautam Singh (state minister), Mr Ajit Kumar (state minister), Ms Suchiltraa Sinha (state minister). 

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |