Nitish again Bihar CM, Lalu's son his deputy

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also took part in the swearing-in ceremony. Gogoi said that with the JD(U) and RJD alliance coming to power, "secular forces" of the country would get a further boost. AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal and former Assam CM PK Mahanta also attended the swearing-in ceremony. Mahanta told The Sentinel that if the Opposition parties come up with an anti-Congress and anti-BJP alliance, they too can form a government in Assam.

Pat, Nov 20: JD-U stalwart Nitish Kumar on Friday again took oath as Bihar's chief minister, making his ally and RJD leader Lalu Prasad's son Tejaswi his deputy as the state got its first coalition government of the JD-U, the RJD and the Congress. In a clear admission of the role Lalu Prasad played in routing the BJP in assembly elections, Tejaswi Yadav, 26, was allocated the portfolios of PWD and forest and environment while elder son Tej Pratap, 28, was med the health minister.

Nitish Kumar, 64, who headed the Grand Alliance that worsted the Bharatiya Jata Party, kept with him the home, information and public relations as well as general administration ministries.

Veteran RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui got the fince portfolio. Congress leader Ashok Choudhary is the new education minister.

Earlier, cheered by some one lakh supporters and watched by leaders of a dozen parties, Nitish Kumar was sworn in by Governor Ram th Kovind at the sprawling Gandhi Maidan at the head of a 28-member ministry.

Dressed in his usual white kurta pyjama, the chief minister took the oath of office and secrecy in the me of God at an event billed as the first major show of strength by non-BJP parties since rendra Modi became the prime minister last year.

It is the fifth time engineer-turned-politician Nitish Kumar was sworn-in as the chief minister.

Lalu Prasad, whose RJD is the single largest party in the 243-member house, appeared pleased when his sons took oath immediately after Nitish Kumar.

Tej Pratap Yadav was interrupted twice by Governor Kovind after he made a slip while taking his oath.

Besides Nitish Kumar, 12 legislators each of the RJD and JD-U and four from the Congress were sworn in. Lalu Prasad's sons got the maximum cheers after the chief minister from the boisterous crowd.

A virtual Who's Who of political parties ranged against the BJP were present in strength at the Gandhi Maidan, with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi making it to the venue only 30 minutes after it began.

Those present included Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Virbhadra Singh (Himachal Pradesh), S. Siddaramaiah (Kartaka), Oommen Chandy (Kerala), Tarun Gogoi (Assam), P.K. Chamling (Sikkim), O. Ibobi Singh (Manipur) and bam Tuki (Aruchal Pradesh).

The others were CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D. Raja, former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, tiol Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam bi Azad, M.K. Stalin of DMK and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit.

Representing Prime Minister rendra Modi on the dais was central minister M. Venkaiah idu.

A total of 12 non-BJP parties were in attendance: JD-U, RJD, Congress, Trimool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, CPI-M, Jata Dal-S, NCP, DMK, CPI, tiol Conference and Sikkim Democratic Front.

Angry over his non-inclusion in the council of ministers, JD-U leader and former minister Shayam Razak did not attend the function.

The Grand Alliance won 178 of the 243 seats in the Bihar assembly. The BJP, which had hoped to oust Nitish Kumar, bagged 53 seats while its three allies together got five seats.

The Bihar battle was the biggest popularity test after the Delhi assembly election of February which the BJP lost badly to the AAP.

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