Nitish Kumar denies prime ministerial ambitions, says working for opposition unity


NEW DELHI: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who recently broke ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and joined hands with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), on Friday said that he had no ambitions to become prime minister and was simply trying to unite the whole opposition.
“I say this with folded hands, I have no such thoughts…My work is to work for everyone. I will make an effort to see that all the Opposition parties walk and work together. If they do, it will be good,” Kumar told reporters in Patna when asked whether he was a possible prime ministerial candidate of the opposition.

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 (NDA). RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took an oath as deputy chief minister.

On August 24, the Nitish Kumar-led Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar will attempt to demonstrate its majority in the state assembly through a floor test.
Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, which Kumar and Yadav were present for, decided to hold the floor test on August 24 and submit an acceptable recommendation for calling the state legislature. According to sources, the cabinet is expected to be expanded on August 16 and the RJD would have a greater number of 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 Hindustan Awam Morcha (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.





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