Nitish Kumar will be the chief minister of Bihar, state BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal said on Wednesday amid speculation of change in CM face, owing to party’s new “big brother” tag. The saffron party secured 74 seats in the assembly election while its alliance partner secured 43 seats along with HAM and Vikassheel Insaan Party’s 4-each, powering NDA’s tally to 125 as opposed to 110 clinched by the opposition Grand Alliance.
“Our party president and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced long back that Nitish Kumar would be the chief minister. When they themselves have named him, then there should be no question of deliberations on any other name,” Jaiswal said as he sought to dispel the talk.
With a clean incorruptible image, Kumar has been credited with ridding the state of the “jungle raj”, as the Lalu-Rabri government of 15 years preceding 2005 is often described by its critics. He has also drawn praise for his impetus on infrastructure development and improving health care system and education. But what is being largely acknowledged this time around is Modi’s enduring charisma that not only powered the alliance’s victory but also helped the BJP to pre-eminent position in the NDA in Bihar for the first time and cut his former bete noire Nitish Kumar, once considered a secular alternative to him, to size.
Meanwhile, Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) itself managed to win just one seat but dented JDU’s fortunes in at least 30 seats. However, despite the slump in numbers, Kumar who was declared the NDA’s chief ministerial candidate by the BJP brass, is set to take over the reins of the government.