Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who will take the chair for the fourth term after winning the Assembly elections with BJP as part of National Democratic Alliance (NDA), on Thursday said voters have given the alliance the mandate and it will form the government.
Kumar added that he has made no claim to chief ministership.
“People have given the mandate to the NDA and it will form the government,” said Kumar at a press conference in Patna.
On being asked who will be the chief minister, Kumar said, “I have made no claim, the decision will be taken by NDA.”
On Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), which has been blamed for the JDU’s low tally in the elections and has been accused of “cutting votes” against Kumar’s party, Kumar said: “If some action is to be taken (against LJP), the BJP has to take it.”
Quashing reports that he may be sworn in next week, Kumar said, “It is not decided yet when the oath-taking ceremony will take place, whether after Diwali or Chhath Puja. We are analysing the results of this election. The members of all four parties will meet tomorrow.”
A close aide earlier in the day said that Kumar may take oath as Bihar chief minister for a fourth successive term next week but the date has not been finalised yet. However, speculation is rife in political circles that he will be sworn in on Monday, the day ‘Bhaiyya Dooj’ festival will be celebrated, as it is considered an auspicious day.
Before he is sworn-in as the chief minister again, Kumar has to tender his resignation to the governor. The newly elected MLAs of the NDA are yet to meet formally and elect Kumar as their leader.
However, with top BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, strongly endorsing Kumar as chief minister, there are no doubts over a fourth straight term for him in the high office. Chief Electoral Officer HR Srinivas, meanwhile, submitted the list of winning candidates in the assembly elections to Governor Phagu Chauhan at Raj Bhavan.