Nitish Kumar stakes claim to form Bihar government (Fourth Lead)

Patna, Nov 14 (IANS) Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar met Bihar governor Ramnath Kovind and staked clain to form the government after the Grand Alliance legislature parties unanimously elected him as their leader in the assembly on Saturday, officials said.

Senior Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar accompanied by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and senior Congress leader C P Joshi and JD-U president Sharad Yadav met Governor Kovind at Raj Bhavan and staked claim to form the next government on November 20, an official said.

Nitish Kumar, who led the Grand Alliance to a victory in the assembly elections, was unanimously elected leader of the legislature party of the three-party grouping that includes the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress.

JD-U state president Vashisht Narain Singh said the newly-elected legislators of the Grand Alliance met in the annexe of the Bihar Legislative Council premises and unanimously elected Nitish Kumar as the legislature party leader.

“In the joint meeting RJD leader and former chief minister Rabri Devi proposed the name of Nitish Kumar as a leader of the Grand Alliance and supported by all.”

Nitish Kumar’s election as the leader came after he was elected leader of the JD-U legislature party and hours after he submitted his resignation to Governor Ramnath Kovind.

Earlier, Nitish Kumar met the governor, submitted his resignation and said the cabinet had decided to dissolve the outgoing assembly.

The governor urged him to continue as caretaker chief minister till a new government is formed.

According to JD-U leaders, Nitish Kumar will take oath as chief minister on November 20 along with a 36-member council of ministers.

The RJD emerged as the single largest party with 80 assembly seats, followed by the JD-U with 71 and the Congress with 27 seats.

There will be 16 ministers from Lalu Prasad’s RJD, 15 from the JD-U and five from the Congress in the new government, said sources.

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