Nitish Kumar: Bihar Chief Minister’s Record 9th Oath

Nitish Kumar was sworn in today as the Chief Minister of Bihar for an unprecedented ninth term, leading a new government formed in collaboration with the BJP. In a significant political shift, Mr. Kumar is replacing ministers from the Rashtriya Janata Dal with those from the BJP. At the Raj Bhavan this afternoon, party leaders Samrat Chowdhury, Vijay Sinha, and several others also took the oath of office alongside him.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his congratulations to the new government through a post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The NDA government in Bihar is committed to the state’s development and fulfilling the aspirations of its people. Congratulations to @NitishKumar as Chief Minister, and to Samrat Chaudhary ji and Vijay Sinha ji on taking oath as Deputy Chief Ministers. I am confident that this team will serve the people of the state with utmost dedication,” read a rough translation of his post.

This marks the fifth instance in a decade where the 72-year-old Nitish Kumar has switched political alliances, earning him the pejorative nickname “Paltu Kumar.”

Mr. Kumar’s previous departure from the BJP in 2022 was rooted in concerns that the party might orchestrate a split within his Janata Dal United, similar to the scenario witnessed in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena. However, in his return to the NDA fold, Kumar cited his disappointment with the opposition bloc, expressing frustration that despite his efforts to unite them, little progress was being made.

“The new Grand Alliance that we formed in August 2022 is not in good shape. The situation is unfavorable,” he stated. “I have been working hard to establish a successful and meaningful alliance, but others in the alliance have not been proactive. There is something amiss in the coalition, and people are not satisfied,” he conveyed to reporters.

Sources indicate that Kumar’s discontent also stems from the lack of clarity in the INDIA bloc’s poll preparations and his exclusion as a potential Prime Ministerial candidate. Delays in seat-sharing talks for the Lok Sabha polls further aggravated his concerns.