Janata Dal-United (JD-U) president Nitish Kumar took as Bihar Chief Minister for the fourth straight term on Monday. Along with him 14 ministers were also administered the oath of office by Governor Phagu Chauhan at Raj Bhawan in Patna. However, the biggest name missing from the list of ministers was that of Sushil Kumar Modi, who had been Nitish's deputy for long. BJP's Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi have now been made Bihar deputy CMs.
During an interaction with the media after the oath taking ceremony, Nitish was asked why was Modi left out this time? The Bihar CM responded, "It is the decision of the BJP to not field Sushil Modi as the Deputy Chief Minister. They should be asked about this."
Rumours are that Sushil Kumar Modi, arguably the BJP's tallest leader in Bihar, may be assigned a post at the Centre soon.
"The BJP and the Sangh Parivar gave me so much in the political life of 40 years. I will discharge the responsibility that will be given to me. No one can take away the post of the party worker," the former Bihar deputy CM had said in a tweet on Sunday.
In the new Nitish cabinet, the BJP bagged the lions share of seven berths, while the JD-U got five seats. Jitam Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) of Mukesh Sahni got two berths each.
JD(U) ministers included old hands like Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Ashok Choudhary and Vijay Kumar Chaudhary besides new faces Mewa Lal Chaudhary and Sheela Kumari Mandal. As far as the BJP is concerned, only Mangal Pandey, who served as the Health Minister in the last government, could retain his seat in the cabinet.
As per the rule, a maximum of 36 ministers can be appointed to the 243-member Bihar Assembly.