In the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic and the enforced social distancing and crowd norms, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addressed a virtual rally on Monday kicking off the Janata Dal (United)’s first outreach for the Bihar Assembly Elections 2020 due to be held later this year. The term of the 243-member House ends on November 29 this year.
The rally had been planned for September 6 but got postponed due to the week-long national mourning declared following the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee.
In the virtual rally which started at 11.30 pm, Nitish Kumar listed his government’s achievements over the last 15 years. He compared them with the 15-year regime of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) regime that preceded him and dismissed the RJD governments as the pati-patni government when RJD chief Laloo Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi ruled the state.
Under fire over the state’s Covid-19 response, Nitish Kumar highlighted the recovery rate which he said was 88.24%. He appealed to the people to take necessary precautions. He claimed testing rates were as high as 1.5 lakh tests per day with 11,350 RT-PCR tests everyday, which is going to be increased to 20,000 soon.
The rally was held on the party’s newly-launched virtual platform jdulive.com. Kumar spoke for almost two-and-a-half hours, reports said. With National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally the BJP already starting its campaign virtually in June with a rally addressed by Home Minister Amit Shah, both the NDA major parties have gotten into campaign mode.
The party had put up giant screens in public places across the state for voters to listen to the speech. The Opposition RJD-Congress alliance is yet to decide on seat sharing much like the NDA, which has several in-house problems waiting to be addressed. With Left parties keen to join the RJD-Congress alliance, the NDA has been beset by the Lok Janshakti Party’s dissatisfaction with Nitish Kumar for not giving the party more seats in the alliance. It is expected, observers say, that the BJP will placate Ram Vilas Paswan’s party by forgoing some of its seats.
The Opposition has alleged that the BJP is riding the Sushant Singh Rajput death case in Mumbai with an eye on the polls, since the topic can win popular support vis-a-vis son of the soil sentiment. The NDA has reasons to be comfortably placed after former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi returned to the fold after swallowing the bitterness of yesteryear.
Congress Bihar leader Akhilesh Prasad says he will speak to Rahul Gandhi on poll mistakes
Major changes are needed at the organisation level for winning any state election, Singh said. He said he had sought an appointment with Rahul Gandhi to discuss the way ahead.
Congress Bihar campaign in-charge Akhilesh Prasad Singh on Thursday broke his silence on the party’s disappointing performance in the Assembly elections. Taking responsibility for the defeat in Bihar, he said the biggest mistake was to contest from the wrong seats. He said he will tell former president Rahul Gnadhi that there is a need to tackle weaknesses in the organisation and make it sharper.
Major changes are needed at the organisation level for winning any state election, Singh said. He said he had sought an appointment with Rahul Gandhi to discuss the way ahead. He told NDTV that the Congress took a hasty decision eventually on the seats. There were weaknesses in the party, especially at the state, district and block levels, he said.
This is the latest statement of a senior leader in the midst of a meltdown within the Congress after being blamed for the Mahagathbandhan’s so-near-yet-so-far loss in Bihar. On the statement of Kapil Sibal, Akhilesh Prasad Singh said he respected Sibal but this kind of analysis was not good after the defeat.
The ruckus within the party had started after Kapil Sibal called for experienced minds, experienced hands and those who understand political realities for reviving the party from visible decline. He had also demanded some major organisational changes in party. P Chidambaram, another senior Congress leader, had said the results in Bihar and bypolls elsewhere showed the Congress had no organisational presence left on the ground. He had also pointed out that the Congress had contested much more seats than its organisational strength could do justice to.
After Bihar assembly election and Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and UP bypolls, the pundits along with some Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan had blamed the Congress for not pulling its weight in the alliance.
In Nitish Kumar cabinet, new Deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad gets Finance and IT, other Deputy Renu Devi gets Panchayati Raj
New Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad has got finance, environment, urban development and information technology while the second Deputy CM Renu Devi got Panchayati Raj, Backward Caste Upliftment and Industry portfolios.
At the age of 69, Nitish Kumar has become the longest-serving Chief Minister of Bihar after winning the election to the 243-member Bihar Assembly. Kumar has kept home, general administration, vigilance and three more departments for himself. New Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad has got finance, environment, urban development and information technology while the second Deputy CM Renu Devi got Panchayati Raj, Backward Caste Upliftment and Industry portfolios.
Mukesh Sahni, the only leader of the Vikassheel Insaan Party, has been given the Animal Husbandry and Fishery portfolio and BJP senior leader Mangal Pandey has retained the Health ministry. Pandey has also been the Bihar BJP president from 2013 to 2017. Bijendra Yadav has got Planning, Food, and Consumer Affairs in the new Nitish Kumar cabinet.
Former Assembly Speaker and JDU leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary got the charge of rural engineering, rural development, water resources, parliamentary affairs, and information and public relations. Mewalal Choudhary will be the new education minister while Sheela Kumari has been allocated the transport ministry.
Jibesh Kumar, who defeated Maskoor Ahmad Usmani by a massive margin from Jale constituency, has been given charge of tourism, mines and labour. Santosh Kumar Suman, the son of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, has been given the minor irrigation and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe welfare portfolios, Surat Rai will be the new revenue and law minister of the state.
BJP’s Amrendra Pratap Singh will handle agriculture, cooperatives, and sugarcane departments, and Rampreet Paswan will be the new public health engineering minister.
Nitish Kumar on Monday took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the fourth consecutive term after edging out the Mahagathbandan in the election to the 243-member Bihar Assembly. The National Democratic Alliance of the BJP, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular and Mukesh Sahni’s Vikashsheel Insaan Party secured 125 seats. With 74 winning seats, the BJP got an upper hand in the state for teh first time ever while the JDU tally shrunk to 43 from 71 seats earlier, marking its worst performance since the 2005 Assembly polls. NDA allies VIP and HAM(S) secured four seats each. The RJD emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats while the Congress won just 19 of the 70 seats it contested on and 16 seats were won by the Left parties who contested 29 seats.
Nitish Kumar back in Bihar saddle with 2 new deputy CMs
Nitish Kumar took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth straight term on Monday in the presence of BJP senior leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah, party chief JP Nadda and former chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis. The leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan boycotted the ceremony, claiming the mandate in the elections was against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and that it had been changed by fraud.
BJP’s Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi took oath as Kumar’s new deputies, instead of old, trusted Sushil Modi. Hours after Nitish Kumar’s oath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated him and said the NDA family will work together in Bihar.
On the midnight of November 10, the NDA achieved the majority by winning 125 seats in Bihar’s 243-member House, three above the halfway mark. By winning 74 seats in the 2020 Bihar Assembly election, the BJP gained the upper hand in the alliance from the JDU, which won just 43 seats and became the junior ally. The RJD emerged as the single largest party of Bihar with 76 seats. Observers credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal popularity for the NDA’s victory.
Political pundits and the people of Bihar expected Sushil Modi as his deputy but the speculation is that the BJP is promoting Sushil Modi to a role at the central level. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, after the oath-taking ceremony, told the media that the BJP needs to be asked why Sushil Modi was not chosen as the deputy CM of Bihar again.
Sushil Modi said the NDA has once again formed the government in the state based on the people’s decision. It is the decision of the BJP to not field Sushil Modi as the Deputy Chief Minister. He said the party needs to be asked why he wasn’t allowed to contest elections.