Hours before the NDA partners meet to formally announce Nitish Kumar as the chief minister in Bihar, the RJD has raised its pitch against Nitish being tapped for the top job again despite the JD(U) receiving only 43 seats in the assembly, behind the BJP.
In the meeting of NDA partners in Patna on Sunday, Nitish Kumar was elected as the leader of NDA and chief Minister for a fourth consecutive term while Sushil Modi is likely to return as the deputy chief minister. Nitish Kumar will take the oath tomorrow.
The RJD had emerged as the single-largest party in 243-member Bihar assembly after counting of votes on November 10 but the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) it formed with the Congress and Left failed to reach the majority mark of 122. The BJP won 74 seats, taking the National Democratic Alliance to 125 seats.
“How can someone become chief minister after getting 40 seats? People’s mandate is against him (Nitish Kumar), he is decimated. Bihar will find its alternative, which will be spontaneous. It might take a week, ten days, or a month but it will happen,” RJD MP Manoj Jha said.
Keeping its pre-poll promise, the BJP-led NDA has elected Nitish Kumar as the chief minister in today’s meeting.
Despite the BJP emerging as the largest party in the ruling alliance with 74 seats, 31 more than the JD(U), the top leadership of the saffron party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has emphatically endorsed Kumar as the next chief minister.
Congress joined RJD in attacking Nitish Kumar claiming that the JD(U) leader won’t have autonomy in the NDA. “Earlier, Nitish Kumar emerged as a good NDA leader in Bihar. But this time, his chances are not the same. The BJP has conspired to weaken him. Now even if he is elected as NDA’s leader or Chief Minister, someone else will have the remote to control him,” Congress leader Tariq Anwar said.
Jha had earlier alleged foul play in the elections, saying officials were either not issuing winner’s certificates to party nominees or delaying it in at least 30 assembly constituencies. He said that RJD-headed Grand Alliance is going to form the government in the state and he is 200 per cent sure of that.
“There are 30 assembly constituencies where officials are either delaying or not issuing certificates (to RJD candidates). They are resorting to dilatory tactics. I request the officials to work in an impartial manner as we are going to win,” the RJD leader had said.
“We are going to write to the Election Commission. They (the government) are putting pressure on DMs in seats where the margin is low,” the RJD leader had said.
Meanwhile Nitish Kumar, who looks on course to becoming the longest serving chief minister of the state during his new term, was expected to take oath on or after Monday next week before which he will send his resignation to the governor since his current tenure expires at the end of November.