Nitish Kumar, who led the grand alliance to a stunning victory in the Bihar assembly elections, took oath as the chief minister on Friday in the presence of leaders from various political parties and his counterparts from several other states.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad’s sons Tejaswi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav also took oath of office after Kumar’s swearing in. Tej Pratap made an error and was asked to repeat his oath.
Kumar was administered the oath of office by governor Ram Nath Kovind during a ceremony at the Gandhi Maidan in the capital city of Patna as more than 2,000 security personnel kept a watch at the venue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had accepted the invitation from Kumar, could not attend the function due to prior engagements. Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu represented the Union government at the ceremony.
The PM had congratulated Kumar on the day of the poll results on November 8 over the grand alliance’s massive victory in the Bihar elections.
An unprecedented security cover was put in place in Patna for the swearing-in ceremony of Kumar, who will head the first JD-U-RJD-Congress coalition to rule Bihar.
An estimated two lakh people, mostly workers, supporters and leaders of the grand alliance parties Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress thronged at the historic Gandhi Maidan to witness the event.
Many leaders with Z plus and Z cover security were attending the oath-taking ceremony, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
The ceremony was being attended by nine chief ministers, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda and leaders of several other political parties.
The Grand Alliance of Nitish Kumar swept 178 of the 243 Bihar assembly seats, leaving 53 to the BJP and five to its three allies in an election outcome that Lalu Prasad said would have major political repercussion.
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. Lalu Prasad’s younger son Tejaswi Yadav is expected to get a plum post.
The chief minister’s office said that a high tea would be held for the VVIPs at the official residence of the chief minister after the oath-taking ceremony. Kumar himself has supervised the preparation for the tea party at his residence, CMO officials said.
(With agency inputs)