Leaders of NDA alliance partners – BJP, JD(U), HAM and VIP – met at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s official residence in Patna on Friday to discuss the formation of a new state cabinet and the election of an Assembly speaker.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar presented his resignation to Governor Phagu Chauhan at the Raj Bhavan in Patna on Friday. The JD(U) chief, who has been re-elected for a fourth consecutive term as chief minister also handed the Bihar Governor his recommendation for dissolution of the state assembly.
While accepting his resignation, Governor Phagu Chauhan asked Nitish Kumar to continue as caretaker chief minister till the new NDA government in Bihar is sworn in.
Leaders of the NDA alliance parties, namely BJP, JD(U), HAM, and VIP met informally at the Bihar CM’s official residence 1, Anney Marg in Patna on Friday morning. Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, VIP convener Mukesh Sahni, Union Minister Nityanand Rai and BJP’s Bihar unit chief Sanjay Jaiswal were among those who met Nitish Kumar at his official residence.
The NDA will decide on their leader in Bihar at 12.30 pm on November 15. When asked about who will be the NDA’s chief ministerial face in the state earlier this week, Nitish Kumar had told media reporters that the alliance will take a final call in this regard. The BJP had projected Kumar as the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance even before the elections.
However, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) managed to win only 43 seats compared to the BJP which managed to secure a victory on 74 seats in the 243-member Bihar Assembly. The son of former state minister Narendra Singh, Sumit Singh who contested from Chakai and won as an Independent also extended support to Nitish Kumar.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar with NDA leaders on Friday (Photo Credits: PTI)
Nitish Kumar’s current state cabinet also held its last meeting on Friday evening before the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly can pave way for a new government. The tenure of the Bihar Assembly’s current session expires on November 29. Several issues, including representation in the new state cabinet and the election of an Assembly speaker, were discussed during this meeting.
“These formalities have to be completed before the formation of a new government. The cabinet’s recommendations will be forwarded to the governor whose nod will be followed by other steps leading to the formation of a new government,” news agency PTI quoted Nitish Kumar as telling reporters on Friday.
Speculations are also rife that the BJP might endorse an EBC or a Dalit as the Deputy Chief Minister, reported PTI. The name of Kameshwar Chaupal, a veteran BJP leader who was chosen to lay the foundation stone stone at the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya in the 1990s, is doing rounds for this post. If it holds true, Chaupal could be sharing the post of Deputy CM with Sushil Kumar Modi in Bihar.
However, no official statement has been issued in this regard as of yet.