Patna/New Delhi, Nov 16 (PTI) Nitish Kumar was on Monday at the receiving end of barbs from opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav, ally-turned rival Chirag Paswan and also his former close aide Prashant Kishor that the JD(U) leader was “nominated” by the BJP to the post of chief minister and he hopefully continues to remain the “NDA's CM'.
In congratulatory messages to Kumar laced with sarcasm after he was sworn in as chief minister for a seventh time in two decades, Kishor also said Bihar should brace for a few more years of lacklustre governance with a 'tired and politically belittled' leader at the helm while Yadav hoped the JD(U) veteran does not make 'ambition for the chair' as his only priority.
Kumar, the 69-year-old Janata Dal(United) leader, was sworn in by Governor Phagu Chauhan, a day after he staked claim armed with the unanimous support of all legislators of the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) despite JD(U)'s poor showing.
Yadav, the leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal(RJD) who has raised questions on the fairness of the counting process in the Bihar Assembly polls, again questioned the election of Kumar, and said the JD(U) chief has been 'nominated' rather than being elected as the chief minister.
“Best wishes to Nitish Kumar ji on being nominated as the chief minister. I hope he makes his priority positive issues such as aspirations of the people of Bihar, the NDA’s promise of 19 lakh jobs-employment, education, health, livelihood, irrigation and justice rather than his ambition for the chair,' Yadav wrote in a social media post.
The RJD-led 'Mahagathbandhan' boycotted the oath-taking ceremony, claiming the public mandate in the elections was against the NDA but it was altered by 'fraud'.
The ruling JD(U) had clinched just 43 seats, 31 less that its ally the BJP. Opposition RJD won 75 seats to emerge as the single largest party in the 243- member assembly.
Paswan, the president of the Lok Janshakti Party(LJP), in his congratulatory message to Kumar, sarcastically remarked that he hopes the JD(U) leader will 'continue to remain the NDA's CM'.
In an apparent swipe at Kumar becoming the chief minister despite having way too less MLAs than the BJP, he said, 'I congratulate you on becoming the chief minister and the BJP for making you one'.
'Congratulations to respected @NitishKumar ji for becoming the chief minister once again. Hope the government will complete its term and you will continue to be the NDA's chief minister,' Paswan, a bitter critic of Kumar, said in a series of tweets in Hindi.
Paswan, during the acrimony-filled poll campaign, had claimed Kumar might ditch the BJP after the results were out, join the RJD-led Grand Alliance, and make yet another attempt at posing a challenge to the NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The LJP chief also termed the NDA's victory in the state polls 'a big win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi', and took a swipe at Kumar, saying, 'There are some people who have been in power for 15 years but still have to take help of three friends (to stay there)'.
The NDA in Bihar includes the JD(U), BJP, Hindustani Awam Morcha(HAM) of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) of backward class leader Mukesh Sahni.
'Congratulations to Nitish Kumar for taking oath as BJP-nominated chief minister. With a tired and politically belittled leader as CM, #Bihar should brace for few more years of lacklustre governance,' Kishor said in a tweet.
The tweet was his first in nearly four months as he used to be very active on the microblogging website.
Once a close aide of Kumar, Kishor was made the JD(U) vice president by the party chief, but his independent and often adversarial views soured their relations and he was expelled from the party. PTI TIR KR GSN GSN GSN