Takes Charge After Dramatic Break-Up, Nitish Kumar Swaps Allies: 10 Points

Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the sixth time on Thursday morning, 14 hours after he resigned from that position, ending his two-year-old alliance with Lalu Yadav and the Congress. He is back with the BJP, whose Sushil Modi was also sworn in; he gets his old post of Deputy Chief Minister back. Other new ministers will take oath after Nitish Kumar has won a trust vote on Saturday.

 

10 Points: 

 

 1. Late last night, Nitish Kumar met Bihar Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi a second time - he had met him to resign earlier in the evening - and staked claim to form government with the support of BJP and smaller parties. "We have submitted a letter with support of 132 legislators," Sushil Modi told reporters after they met the Governor.

 

2. Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi Yadav, who was Nitish Kumar's deputy till Thursday, also met the Governor to try and stop this morning's oath ceremony. Mr Yadav contended that as Bihar's largest party, his RJD should be given first chance at government formation. He drew a blank at the Raj Bhawan and sat on protest outside the Governor's residence late last night, threatening to go to court.

 

3. Nitish Kumar's shock move to quit as Chief Minister of Bihar on Wednesday came hours after Lalu Yadav said Tejashwi would not resign as the No 2 in the Bihar government despite being caught in a corruption scandal.

 

4. "There was no scandal before this, I tried to make it work for as long as I could," Nitish Kumar said after handing his resignation to the Governor. "My conscience would not allow me to continue," he said.

 

5. After praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and meetings in Delhi and Patna, the BJP swiftly offered support. "Nityanand Rai ji and I called Nitish ji. BJP has decided to support him and the government formed under him," said Sushil Modi, driving up to Nitish Kumar's home, where legislators of both parties gathered in a show of bonhomie and strength before meeting the Governor.

 

6. "Nitishji's step against corruption is a courageous one. BJP wants development and wants to help bring stability in Bihar," said union minister JP Nadda of the BJP, in Patna to oversee the new political developments.

 

7. Lalu Yadav has accused Nitish Kumar of planning the break-up in "cahoots with the BJP" and has accused him of cheating voters. Their Grand Alliance, he said, got a massive mandate on an anti-BJP plank and has challenged Nitish Kumar to face voters again in an election. He has also said the RJD will protest in Parliament.

 

8. Earlier this month, the Yadavs were accused of corruption stemming from Lalu Yadav's term as Railways Minister and their home was raided. Nitish Kumar dropped broad hints that Lalu's son Tejashwi Yadav, 28, must as Deputy Chief Minister. But Lalu Yadav was adamant that Tejashwi would not quit.

 

9. Last month, Nitish Kumar abandoned his allies and other parties to side with the BJP in the election for President of India. He said the opposition which has formed an 18-party league was "in a mess" thanks largely to the Congress. He also broke ranks with the opposition to first support PM Modi's sudden ban of high-value notes and then the launch of the Goods and Services Tax or GST.

 

10. In 2013, Nitish Kumar had ended a 17-year alliance with the BJP over its decision to promote Mr Modi as its presumptive prime minister. In 2015, he tied up with the Congress and former rival Lalu Yadav to block PM Modi from winning Bihar for the BJP.

 

 

 

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