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Nitish Kumar, ‘Chanakya’ of Bihar, set to be sworn in as CM for record eighth time

Kumar will be administered the oath of office by Governor Phagu Chauhan at a simple ceremony inside the Raj Bhavan at 2 pm.

nitish kumar chanakya of bihar
The 71-year-old JD(U) leader first took oath as chief minister in 2000, when he headed an NDA government that lasted only a week. (Photo source: IE)

Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar is scheduled to be sworn in as the chief minister of Bihar on Wednesday afternoon for a record eighth time. Kumar will be administered the oath of office by Governor Phagu Chauhan at a simple ceremony inside the Raj Bhavan at 2 pm.

Tejashwi Yadav, whose RJD helms the Grand Alliance that elected Kumar as its leader on Tuesday, is also scheduled to be sworn in, with him returning as the deputy chief minister for the second time. Earlier, it was understood that only Kumar and Yadav will be taking oath though sources in the multi-party Grand Alliance now hint at the possibility of “three to five” ministers being sworn in.

Besides JD(U) and RJD, the Congress is expected to be represented in the new cabinet. Left parties CPIML(L), CPI and CPI(M) have expressed their intention to support the new government from outside. Kumar had on Tuesday quit the BJP, stripping the party of power, before resigning and staking claim to form a new government, armed with the support of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance).

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The 71-year-old JD(U) leader first took oath as chief minister in 2000, when he headed an NDA government that lasted only a week. He was back in 2005, this time with his coalition having won an absolute majority in the assembly polls.

The NDA won a landslide victory under his leadership in the assembly polls five years later. Kumar stepped down in 2014, owning moral responsibility for the drubbing of JD(U) in the Lok Sabha polls, but returned less than a year later when he was sworn in for the fourth time.

Also read| Nitish gives BJP a taste of Maharashtra in Bihar; set for new innings as CM

In 2015, Kumar was back as CM, with the Grand Alliance then comprising the JD(U), RJD and Congress winning a comfortable majority. He resigned in July 2017, citing irreconcilable differences with the RJD, and got sworn in again less than 24 hours later, when he formed a new government with the BJP.

Kumar was sworn in for the seventh time in November 2020, when the NDA retained power, though his own party saw a major fall in its tally for which it blamed a “conspiracy” by the BJP.

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