As Mahagathbandhan still celebrates its landslide victory in the Bihar state assembly elections, Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the Bihar Chief Minister for the fifth time on Friday. The ceremony was held at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna and was attended by Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, Omar Abdullah, Rahul Gandhi, Sitaram Yechury and Farooq Abdullah among others.
With a motto like “development with justice”, the path to victory might have been pretty smooth for the alliance. But Nitish – who holds portfolios for Home, General Administration, Information & Public Communication – feels the true test lies ahead as he needs to cater to the expectations of the thousands of people who look up to him. He said that getting a two-thirds majority is no ordinary matter and he would strive to ensure social harmony and rule of law in the state. This is the first time that Bihar will have a coalition government comprising JD(U), RJD and Congress.
The first time lawmaker and Deputy CM
With the Rashtriya Janata Dal powering the Grand Alliance to a two-thirds majority in Bihar, the post of Deputy Chief Minister is well deserved by Tejaswi Yadav who is considered to be more politically astute of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s two sons. However, the elder son, Tej Pratap Yadav, will be given a ministerial berth. Both Tej (28) and Tejaswi (26) have contested elections for the first time.
Lots of expectations are pinned on Tejaswi, an Indian cricketer who plays for the Jharkhand team, who has to match up to ace politician and BJP leader Sushil Modi – former deputy to Nitish Kumar and noteworthy administrator. He has been handed three key portfolios – Road Construction and Building Construction & EBC Welfare and PWD. The Class-IX dropout from Delhi Public School, who was seen campaigning for RJD during the 2010 Bihar assembly elections, will also head the single largest party in the new assembly.
The day’s happenings
Apart from Nitish Kumar, the day saw 11 legislators each from RJD, 12 from JD(U) and 4 from Congress take oath as ministers.
Vijendra Yadav – JD(U) – This 45-year-old MLA represents Madhepura and is the new Energy Minister.
Lalan Singh – JD(U) – Born on 24 January 1955 as Rajiv Ranjan Singh, he completed his graduation from TNB College in Bihar. He was first elected to Rajya Sabha in April 2000. Four years later, Singh was elected as a member to the 14th Lok Sabha and represented the Begusarai constituency. He was again elected to the 15th Lok Sabha of India but represented the Munger constituency this time. He is the Water Resources, Planning and Development Minister.
Madan Sahni – JD(U) – He won from Gaura Bauram. He is a graduate who has been given charge of the Food and Consumer Protection Department.
Kapildev Kamat – JD(U) – He contested elections from the Babubarhi constituency in Bihar’s Madhubani district. He is a Class-VIII passout. He has been given the portfolio for Panchayati Raj.
Shailesh Kumar – JD(U) – Representing Jamalpur in Munger, he has completed his Master of Arts from RD & DJ College, Bhagalpur University and will hold the portfolio for Rural Work in the new government.
Maheshwar Hazari – JD(U) – Born in 1971, he is an MLA from Kalyanpur in Samastipur and also Ram Vilas Paswan’s cousin. He has been elected MLA for three times in the Bihar Legislative Assembly. He is a graduate from B.R.B. College in Samastipur. He will be in charge of Urban Development.
Krishna Nandan Verma – JD(U) – This MLA contested the state assembly elections from Ghosi (Jahanabad). He has completed his graduation from B.N. College, Patna, in 1971. He is the Public health Minister.
Jay Kumar Singh – JD(U) – The 46-year-old MLA from Dinara in Rohtas has a degree in Civil engineering from B.L.D.E. Bijapur and has been made the Industries, Science and Technology Minister.
Shravan Kumar – JD(U) leader – This elderly leader is a high school passout and represents Nalanda. He has the portfolios for Rural Development and Parliamentary Affairs.
Bijendra Prasad Yadav – JD(U) – As far as state assembly elections are concerned, he has been contesting and winning from Supaul since 2000. Yadav is a science graduate and is the new Power, Commerce and Tax Minister.
Khurshid alias Firoz Ahmad – JD(U) – This MLA represents Sikta in West Champaran and is a Class X passout. He has the portfolio for Sugarcane Industries.
Santosh Kumar Nirala – JD(U) – A qualified lawyer, this 44-year-old MLA contested the state assembly elections from Rajpur (Buxar). He will take care of SC and ST Welfare.
Kumari Manju Verma – JD(U) – This woman MLA represents Cheria Bariarpur constituency in Begusarai district and will be the minister for Social Welfare.
Tejpratap Yadav – RJD – Born to Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi, this first time lawmaker had contested the elections from Mahua in Vaishali district. He holds three portfolios – Health, Water resources, Environment and Forest.
Abdul Bari Siddiqui – RJD – This 63-year-old leader is an MLA representing Alinagar Darbhanga. A close aide of Lalu and the party’s Muslim face, he won the first election of his life in 1977. He has been allotted the Finance portfolio.
Chandrika Rai – RJD – The new Transport Minister, Rai is a master degree holder and represents Parsa. This time around, he has defeated Chhotelal Rai of LJP by a margin of 40,000 votes.
Alok Mehta – RJD – The Ujiarpur MLA was born on 3 November 1966. He is a graduate engineer from Bangalore University and will head the Cooperative Department.
Chandrashekhar – RJD – The Madhepura MLA has completed his M.Sc. from Kanpur University in 1985. He is 44 years old and will look after Disaster Management.
Dr Abdul Gafoor – RJD – A doctorate in Urdu from Patna University, he has been elected MLA from the Mahirsha (Saharsa) constituency for the fourth consecutive time in 2015. He has been given charge of the Minority Welfare Department.
Ramvichar Rai – RJD – An MLA from Sahebganj in Muzaffarpur, he will look after Irrigation.
Muneshwar Chaudhary – RJD – The 60-year-old law graduate from Ganga Singh Mahavidyalay in Chapra, is an MLA from Garkha (Saran). He holds the portfolio for Mining.
Shiv Chandra Ram – RJD – He represents Raja Pakar in Vaishali. He has done his graduation from Akshaywat Rai College, Mahua in 1993. He is the Youth, Arts and Culture Minister in the Nitish Kumar government.
Anita Devi – RJD – She holds the Tourism portfolio. She had contested the elections from Nokha in Rohtas.
Vijay Prakash – RJD – An M.A. from AN College Patna, Magadh University, in 1996, he contested the elections from Jamui. He has been given the Labour Development portfolio.
Madan Mohan Jha – Congress – He has been the leader of Congress in the Bihar Legislative Council. He has been given the Revenue and Land Reforms portfolio.
Awadhesh Singh – Congress – An MLA representing Gaya’s Wazirganj constituency, he has completed his graduation from Jagjivan College, Magadh University, in 1974. He holds the portfolio for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
Ashok Choudhary – Congress – He will be the Education, Information and Broadcasting Minister.
Abdul Jalil Mastan – Congress – He is an MLA from Amour, Purnia. He has been given charge of the Registration, Excise and Prohibition Ministry.
With all portfolios allotted, it remains to be seen how the new government chalks out things to make its “development with justice” motto into a reality.