Bihar conundrum: RJD, Cong, CPI yet to decide on joining Nitish govt

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Patna, Feb 21: With Nitish Kumar all set to take oath as Chief Minister of Bihar tomorrow evening, allies RJD, Congress and CPI are yet to take a decision on joining the government. RJD which has 24 members, Congress 5, CPI 1 and an independent stood solidly behind Kumar throughout the political crisis and its MLAs joined JD(U) legislators to take the total to 130.

The members were present both at the Raj Bhavan and outside Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi to prove their numbers. "Congress will take a decision (on joining the government) after Nitish Kumar proves his majority on the floor of the House," Bihar PCC president Ashok Choudhary told PTI today.

RJD yet to decide to join Nitish govt

He said he has acquainted the party high command with the latest political situation in the state and would act according to instructions received from it after the trust vote. Choudhary, however, said Congress support to Kumar was already there irrespective of the fact whether it joins his ministry or not. CLP leader Sadanand Singh echoed similar views. RJD state president Ram Chandra Purbe said party chief Lalu Prasad would take a decision on the matter.

"These are policy decisions for which Lalu Prasad is authorised to take a decision," Purbe told PTI and added that Prasad would be present at Kumar's swearing in ceremony tomorrow. Lone CPI MLA Subodh Roy also said party would take the decision on whether to join ministry or continue support from outside. Independent member Dulal Chand Goswami is all set to be part of the ministry. Meanwhile, a lunch is being hosted today at Nitish Kumar's residence for all supporting legislators and senior leaders of JD(U), RJD, Congress, CPI.

Highly placed sources in Nitish Kumar's office said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Uttar Pradesh counterpart Akhilesh Yadav are likely to attend the oath ceremony at Raj Bhavan tomorrow at 5 PM. Kumar has invited SP President Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad and JD(S) chief H D Devegowda among others over telephone for the oath function.

PTI 

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