The decks have been cleared for JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar's sixth consecutive Chief Ministerial term with him being named as the next Chief Minister during a meeting of NDA stakeholders which is currently underway in Patna. Nitish Kumar was also chosen as the leader of Janata Dal-United's Legislature Party in the new Bihar Assembly. He was re-elected to the post at a meeting of the newly elected MLAs of the JD-U and the MLCs at the CM residence here.
Twelve others, five each from BJP and JD(U) and one each from smaller NDA partners HAM and VIP took oath to mark the beginning of a record-breaking sixth term for Nitish who has displayed remarkable tenacity but will begin his latest CM innings seemingly diminished because of his party’s poor returns from the polls.
In the results that came on 10 November, the NDA that fought the elections under its chief ministerial candidate Nitish Kumar managed to bag 125 seats in the 243-member Assembly. The role of Nitish Kumar here in after is expected to undergo a change in the new government since his party has won only 43 seats, much lower than the BJP's 74 seats. As a result, the JD-U will play the role of 'younger brother' in the new Cabinet.
The new CM is also to face the challenges to keep the NDA forces united as the alliance has just three seats more than a simple majority of 122 seats. In this case, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) led by Jitan Ram Manjhi and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) have assumed the role of king-makers, despite their pre-poll alliance with the NDA. However, these two parties are likely to claim important portfolios in the bargain. The past history of these two parties will be beneficial for the JD-U and BJP in the new Bihar government.
On 17 May 2014, Kumar resigned, taking responsibility for his party's poor performance in the 2014 general elections, and was succeeded by Jitan Ram Manjhi. However, he returned to office in February 2015 following a political crisis in Bihar and won the state elections of November 2015. He was elected as the national president of his party on 10 April 2016. He resigned again on 26 July 2017 as Chief Minister of Bihar due to differences with the coalition partner, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), following the naming of Tejashwi Yadav, the Deputy Chief Minister and RJD member, in a First Information Report alleging corruption filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Hours later, he joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition, which had thus far been the opposition, and secured a majority in the assembly.
Kumar's government has been hailed by the state as a pleasant change from a long spell of rampant corruption, crimes and misgovernance. As the Chief Minister, he appointed more than 100,000 school teachers, ensured that doctors worked in primary health centres, electrified many villages, paved roads, cut female illiteracy by half, turned around a lawless state by cracking down on criminals and doubled the income of the average Bihari. And now, when the central powers, the BJP is ready sit besides the state, no wonder that Bihar will reach the heights of strategic, political developments. All hail to the power!