Decks were cleared on Friday for the formation of a new government in Bihar with Nitish Kumar, who is set to return as the chief minister, handing over to Governor Phagu Chauhan the resignation of his ministry and the recommendation to dissolve the state assembly, officials said. The governor accepted the resignation and asked Kumar to continue as the caretaker chief minister till the new NDA government is sworn in.
Earlier, leaders all the four constituents of the NDA Kumars JD(U), BJP, HAM and Vikassheel Insaan Party had met informally at 1, Anney Marg, the Chief Minister's official residence, where it was decided that all the newly elected NDA MLAs will meet on Sunday and formally elect Kumar as their leader.
"The meeting will start at 12:30 pm on Sunday, November 15 where all further decisions will be taken," Kumar had told reporters later. He had also said the current state cabinet will be holding its last meeting in the evening where a decision on the dissolution of the assembly, the tenure of which expires on November 29, will be taken. "These formalities have to be completed before the formation of a new government. The cabinet's recommendations will be forwarded to the governor whose nod will be followed by other steps leading to the formation of a new government," Kumar added.
At the cabinet meeting, which lasted barely 10 minutes, the chief minister thanked all his cabinet colleagues for their cooperation, said Rana Randhir, a BJP leader who held the cooperatives' portfolio in the dissolved cabinet and has returned as the MLA from Madhuban. Despite the BJP emerging as the largest party in the ruling alliance with 74 seats, 31 more than the JD(U), the top leadership of the saffron party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has emphatically endorsed Kumar as the next chief minister. He was declared the ruling coalition's chief ministerial candidate much before the election process had started. Meanwhile, the NDA which has three more MLAs than the magic figure of 122, received a shot in the arm when an Independent legislator from Chakai Sumit Singh met the chief minister and extended support.
Even as the people of Bihar gave a clear majority to the NDA alliance, hectic parleys are underway on both sides before the formation of the next government. NDA leaders are meeting currently and will take a decision on the Cabinet of Nitish Kumar, as the top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Modi has already stated that Nitish will be the CM. Sources have informed Republic World that Sushil Modi might not be BJP's first choice for the Deputy CM post and the saffron party may choose a not-so-popular face of Kameshwar Chaupal for the post.
The Bihar assembly elections results were declared around midnight on November 10-November 11, with the ruling coalition - NDA winning 125 in the 243-member assembly, against Mahagathbandhan's 110. Even as the contest remained neck and neck throughout the day, RJD under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav, became the single largest party with 75 seats, followed by BJP's 74. While Chirag Paswan's LJP won one seat, it made a major dent in JDU's tally that has come down to 43 from 71 in 2015. The biggest clincher is Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM winning 5 seats and CPI-ML winning 12 seats. The other two left parties - CPI and CPI-M won two each. The other two alliance partners of NDA - HAM and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) won four seats each.