Patna: Ending days of political drama, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar on Sunday took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the fourth time saying that he had once again assumed office with full earnestness and would work for the development of the state with sincerity.
Shortly after taking oath, while addressing the press, Nitish said, “Once again I take responsibility as Bihar CM with full earnestness.”
Recalling that people were unhappy with his resignation, Kumar added, “Will work to bring glory to every person in Bihar. My first priority is development of the state.”
Bihar CM further thanked all dignitaries who attended his swearing-in ceremony today at the Raj Bhawan here which was administered by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.
“Thankful to all guests who attended my swearing-in ceremony, including former PM HD Deve Gowda,” Kumar said, as per ANI.
Also, thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for congratulating him on becoming CM of Bihar, the JD(U) said that political rivalry notwithstanding he would meet PM and seek Centre-State cooperation for development of the state.
"Politically we can be face to face with each other. But, for the development of Bihar I will have no hesitation to meet him and stress for healthy Centre-State cooperation," Kumar told reporters, as per PTI.
"Congratulations & best wishes to Shri Nitish Kumar on being sworn-in as Bihar CM," PM Modi had earlier tweeted.
Congratulations & best wishes to Shri Nitish Kumar on being sworn-in as Bihar CM.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 22, 2015
At the same time, Kumar thanked former CM Manjhi too for attending his swearing-in ceremony. “I am thankful to Jitan Ram Manjhi, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and Assam CM Tarun Gogoi,” he said.
In a special mention, Bihar CM said, “Congress chief Sonia Gandhi couldn't come but she sent a letter through Motilal Vora, I thank her.”
“RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav could not be present at the occasion because of marriage of his daughter and so was SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav,” he added.
The 63-year-old JD(U) leader was administered the oath of office as the 24th CM of Bihar by Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi.
Along with Nitish Kumar, 22 ministers also took oath at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan here. Most of the ministers were in his earlier cabinet and are considered loyal and trusted.
To be noted is the fact that Nitish had driven JD(U) to severe ties with BJP in June 2013 over elevation of Modi as his party's PM candidate.
Moreover, his quitting after JD(U) drubbing in general election last year was seen in political circle was prompted by his hesitation to come face to face with his bete noire.
The oath function of Nitish Kumar at Raj Bhavan served as a big anti-BJP platform with prominent leaders of parties opposed to BJP assembling at the function to show solidarity.
Besides leaders of core parties engaged in merger of old Janata Parivar there were prominent leaders from Congress, TMC and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha of Babu Lal Marandi on the occasion.
Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, Chief Ministers of Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh Tarun Gogoi, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, INLD leader Abhay Chautala, Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP) Kamal Morarka, NCP Tariq Anwar and Congress Motilal Vohra, C P Joshi, Srikant Jena and Kripa Shankar Singh were among other present to make the occasion politically big.
Nitish, who was invited to form a new government by the Governor after Jitan Ram Manjhi's resignation ahead of the trust vote on Friday, has been asked to prove his majority in the Bihar Assembly by March 16.
The senior JD (U) leader had earlier on Friday described his decision to quit office last year as 'a mistake'.
"With folded hands, I apologise to the people of Bihar. Never again will I take such a step. I am ready to lead from the front," he had said.
Nitish had stepped down as the CM on May 17 last year after his party fared poorly in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, winning just two seats.
Manjhi, who was chosen to replace him, was asked to step aside to allow the return of his former boss as the chief minister as the party campaigns for the Bihar election due later this year.
Manjhi, however, did not oblige and was expelled by the party. Manjhi, later, sought a trust vote but quit abruptly when it was clear that he would not win.
(With Agency inputs)