Eastern Indian state gets new chief minister

Regional Janata Dal-United party names Dalit leader Jitan Ram Majhi as chief minister after resignation of Nitish Kumar.

    Eastern Indian state gets new chief minister
    Nitish Kumar resigned from his post as chief minister after his party's poor showing in general election [EPA]

    India's regional party, Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which runs government in eastern Bihar state, has named Dalit leader Jitan Ram Majhi as the new chief minister following the resignation of Nitish Kumar, according to local media reports.

    Majhi, who belongs to the Musahar community placed at the bottom of the Hindu caste ladder, is a close aide of outgoing chief minister, according to NDTV news channel.

    Manjhi, 68, has staked claim to form the new government, Times of India newspaper reported.

    He represents Makhdoompur assembly constituency in Jehanabad district of the state.

    Kumar resigned from his post as chief minister on Saturday, taking full responsibility for his party's poor showing in the recently concluded general election. On Monday, he refused to withdraw his resignation even after party members tried to convince him of changing his decision.

    The JD-U had ended its 17-year-old alliance with Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last year after Narendra Modi was declared party's prime ministerial nominee, citing a conflict of ideologies.

    However, BJP stepped up its attack on Kumar, labelling his move to resign as a political gimmick.

    "Nitish Kumar is a big political artist. He keeps displaying his skills time-to-time to come to power. He has come to power but by betraying people and by using people. Now when there is a rebellious situation, his greed for power is not going away and he is doing all the drama to stop rebel within his own party," said BJP leader Ram Kripal Yadav.

    The JD-U won only two parliamentary seats out of 40 in Bihar while BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) cornered 31 seats.

    The alliance led by Modi's BJP won 336 of the 543 seats in India's lower House of parliament, making it the first time in a quarter of a century that the country will not be led by a coalition government.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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