Nitish wins in Bihar, India

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Janata Dal (United)-Bharatiya Janata Party combine under the leadership of Nitish Kumar has won 143 of 243 seats in Assembly elections for the state of Bihar held this November. The JD(U) legislative party elected Nitish to be Bihar's new Chief Minister. This was the second election in the last eight months; the first was held in February and the resulting house was suspended by the Bihar Governor Buta Singh. The former Chief Minister Rabri Devi is the wife of Lalu Prasad Yadav, who had control of the state for 15 years, either directly or through his wife. Nitish Kumar will be sworn in as the 31st chief minister of Bihar on Thursday November 24, 2005.

After meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his office in Parliament, Nitish left for Patna in order to stake claim to form a government. Nitish will appoint 14 ministers in his National Democratic Alliance government, including deputy chief minister. BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi and Shahnawaz Hussain are front runners for the post as deputy chief minister, followed by Ashwani Choubey and Nand Kishore Yadav. Voting turnout in the election was 47 percent of the total electorate numbering 5,13,47,092, which is comprised of 2,75,46,646 male voters and 2,38,00,446 female voters. There were 102 BJP candidates and 139 JD(U) candidates.