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Nitish Kumar returns as Bihar CM

Senior Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar is back as Bihar’s Chief Minister for the third time on Sunday, ending a month-political drama in the state which saw the unceremonious exit of Rebel JD-U leader Jitan Ram Manjhi from power. 

A couple of hours later, the newly sworn Chief Minister also said that he is willing to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his bête noire, and may ask for his help in the interest of the state.

“I am ready to meet the Prime Minister and other minister in the interest of Bihar,” said Kumar in a presser, adding “I have no reservations in meeting anyone, if that person can help our state. Our government has big expectations from the central government and we would need their help to ensure fast development.” 

He also chalked out his priorities and said that he would continue to work on his old roadmaps to ensure fast development of the state.

“Now that I am back on this chair, I would serve with my whole heart. Good governance was and will remain our government’s biggest priority. Law and order, social justice and development would be our focus. We would continue to work hard in the areas of law and order, infrastructure, education, health, social development, agriculture and electricity. I also have to make-up for the lost time. I know that I have to work hard and I am ready for this,” he said.

Kumar also said that he will look into the decisions of Manjhi cabinet and implement them on the basis of merit and resources.

He said: “Governments cannot run on prejudices. Therefore, I would look into every decisions of pervious government and implement them on the basis of their merits and means.”

In the last week Manjhi cabinet took more than 100 populist decisions, which include reservation for ST/SC contractors in government’s work contract system, reservation to poor sections of the upper castes and free electricity to small farmers, 10 fold in increase in allowances for Home-Guard jawans, pay increase for Police men and women, 35 percent reservation for women in government jobs and a committee to give pay-scale to more than 3 lakh contractual teachers.

He also indicated towards forming a new alliance with other CMs of eastern states, namely Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam and Orissa.

“I thank Akhilesh Singh (Yadav) jee, Mamta (Bannerjee) jee and Tarun (Gogoi) jee for coming to my sworn-in ceremony. It’s a good start. I hope dialogues, discussion and initiatives would continue in future. I would also like to invite Navin Patnaik jee in this partnership. Our primary focus will be ensuring fast development of eastern states, which have been lagging in development,” he said.

Earlier on Sunday, Governor KN Tripathi administered oath of office and secrecy to Kumar and his 22 cabinet colleagues. All the cabinet members have been allotted their old portfolios, which they used to hold in Manjhi government. 

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