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Nitish Kumar likely to take oath as new CM on November 20

Lalu Nitish

Though the official announcement is awaited, JD(U) Nitish Kumar in all likelihood would take oath as the new chief minister of Bihar on November 20.

“People are busy with Diwali and after that comes the Chhath festival which ends on November 18. So oath of the new government in all likelihood will be administered after Chhath,” state JD(U) President Basistha Narayan Singh told PTI.

Though the decision to this effect will be taken by the chief minister but the date seems likely, he said.

Two senior ministers of Nitish Kumar’s outgoing cabinet have also indicated November 20 as the likely date and talks are on among top leadership of the three constituent parties of the Grand Alliance on government formation.

It is yet to be decided as to which constituent party would the speaker be from and if Lalu Prasad’s son Tejaswi would be made the deputy chief minister.

Kumar had on November 8 told mediapersons that the term of the current Assembly is till November 29, hence there was no hurry to form a new government.

Refusing to commit a date, he had merely said a new government would take oath in the state soon.

This would be the fifth time that Kumar would take oath as chief minister. His first stint was in 2000 when he headed a government for only seven days. He rode to power in Novermber 2005 and again in 2010. In February 2015 he took oath for the high office for the fourth time after Jitan Ram Manjhi was removed from the chair.

When contacted, state Congress President Ashok Choudhary told PTI that party high command would take a call as to whether to join the government or not.

“I will go to Delhi after Diwali and discuss the Bihar issue with the top leadership,” he added.

Bihar JD(U) chief Basistha Narayan Singh said though decision would be taken by the leaders of Congress it would be better if all three partners are part of the state government.

“We have fought together and it would be good for them (Congress) too that they be part of the government,” he said.

Singh refused to confirm media reports that a criteria of one minister on every five MLAs is being fixed for selection of ministers in the new Nitish Kumar government.