Patna: The Nitish Kumar-led government in Bihar will go for a floor test on August 24 to prove its majority in the state assembly.
Nitish Kumar was sworn Chief Minister for a record eighth time on Wednesday after he resigned from the post a day earlier and quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took oath as Deputy Chief Minister.
The decision to hold the floor test on August 24 and make a suitable recommendation for convening the state assembly was taken at a cabinet meeting attended by Kumar and Yadav on Wednesday. Sources said that expansion of the cabinet is likely to take place on August 16 and RJD will have more ministers than the Janata Dal-United.
Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance has the support of 164 members in the assembly.
Nitish Kumar broke his alliance with the BJP for the second time in eight years on Tuesday before joining hands with RJD and other parties in the Mahagathbandhan including the Congress and Left parties. The Grand Alliance also has the support of HAM, which has four MLAs in the Assembly.
BJP has accused Nitish Kumar of “disrespecting” the mandate given by the people of Bihar.
BJP and JD-U had fought the assembly polls together in 2020. Nitish Kumar was made Chief Minister though the BJP won more seats.
Sources said that Congress is likely to have 2-3 representatives in the cabinet and HAM may get one berth.
Nitish Kumar was born in a Kurmi family in Bakhtiyarpur town in Patna district on March 1, 1951. His father was an Ayurvedic doctor, Kaviraj Ram Lakhan Singh, and his mother was Parmeshwari Devi.
He obtained a degree in mechanical engineering from the Bihar College of Engineering (now the National Institute of Technology NIT) Patna.
Nitish Kumar was elected an MLA from Harnaut assembly constituency in Nalanda district in 1985.
In 1989, he contested the Lok Sabha election from Barh constituency in Patna district and won the seat. He was in the VP Singh government and served as union minister of state for agriculture and cooperatives.
When the 10th Lok Sabha election was held in 1991, Nitish Kumar was elected again on the ticket of Janata Dal from Barh constituency.
Nitish Kumar was again elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996 with the Samata Party from Barh and George Fernandes won the seat from Nalanda.
He then aligned with the BJP in the 13-day government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He was again elected in 1998 to the 12th Lok Sabha and served as union minister for railways with the additional charge of the surface transport ministry.
In 1999, he was elected to the Lok Sabha and became the union minister of railways, surface transport and agriculture in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
He first became the chief minister of Bihar from March 3, 2000 to March 10, 2000.
He contested the Lok Sabha election in 2000 and again served as the union minister of railways and agriculture in the Vajpayee government.
By then, Nitish Kumar had become the tallest leader of the Kurmi-Koiri and other backward class communities. That was the phase when Lalu Prasad was facing charges of fodder scam, and a number of massacres during the first tenure of his wife Rabri Devi’s government from 1996 to 2000.
Nitish Kumar got good support from the backward class apart from his traditional Kurmi-Koiri vote bank. He merged his Samata Party into the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in 2003. During the 2005 assembly elections, the JD-U managed to win 88 seats and became the single largest party in Bihar. He formed the government in Bihar with the help of the BJP.
In 2013, when the BJP nominated Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate of the NDA, Nitish Kumar objected to it and left the NDA.
Nitish Kumar took over as chief minister again from Jitan Ram Manjhi in November 2014 and formed an alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD. They made the Mahagathbandhan and also included the Congress party. They won the 2015 assembly election on the formula of 100: 100 seats to the RJD and the JD-U and 43 seats to the Congress.
Lalu Prasad, in 2015 announced that Nitish Kumar will be the chief minister’s face of the Mahagathbandhan. When the election results came in, the RJD won 80 seats, the JD-U 73 and the Congress 29. They managed to stop the BJP at 53 seats in Bihar despite a strong Modi wave.
The RJD, despite having more seats than the JD-U, made Nitish Kumar the chief minister of Bihar.
Apart from Lalu Prasad, the other RJD leaders thought that the chief minister’s post should come to the RJD, and they started targeting Nitish Kumar. A war of words started between the RJD and the JD-U. Nitish Kumar, who has one of the sharpest political brains, started looking for an opportunity and he picked on the corruption charges against Tejashwi Yadav in the IRCTC scam as an ideal excuse for him to come out from the Mahagathbandhan.
Nitish Kumar joined the NDA in 2017 and formed the government with the help of 53 MLAs of the BJP in Bihar.
In the 2020 assembly election, Nitish Kumar contested under the umbrella of the NDA and became the chief minister of Bihar for the 7th time. After the result of the election, JD-U leaders accused the BJP of back-stabbing their party.