Patna: Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar will take oath today as Bihar's Chief Minister again, watched by a galaxy of national leaders ranged against the BJP.
He will head the first JD-U-RJD-Congress coalition to rule Bihar. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi declining to attend the event, he and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which badly lost the Assembly polls, would be represented by party leaders and central ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
The ceremony, to be held at the sprawling Gandhi Maidan, will draw tens of thousands of Nitish and RJD leader Lalu Prasad supporters besides nine Chief Ministers, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, NCP president Sharad Pawar, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and leaders of several other political parties.
Preparations at Gandhi Maidan for swearing-in ceremony of the Nitish Kumar Government, in Patna on Thursday. PTI Photo
The Chief Ministers are Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Tarun Gogoi (Assam), PK Chamling (Sikkim), O Ibobi Singh (Manipur), Nabam Tuki (Arunachal Pradesh), Virbhadra Singh (Himachal Pradesh), Akhilesh Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) and S Siddaramaiah (Karnataka). Other political veterans would include CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D Raja, INLD's Abhay Chautala, DMK's MK Stalin and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah.
According to JD-U leaders, Nitish Kumar will take oath at the head of a 36-member council of ministers. The RJD is the single largest party in the house with 80 seats followed by the JD-U (71) and the Congress (27 seats). There will be 16 RJD ministers, 15 from the JD-U and five from the Congress in the government.