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Jeetan Ram Manjhi to be new Chief Minister of Bihar
New Delhi, May 19, 2014
Mr Jeetan Ram Manjhi, Bihar's Minister for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Backward and Economically Backward Classes Welfare, will be the new Chief Minister of the state, succeeding Mr Nitish Kumar, who had resigned after the Janata Dal (United) suffered a major debacle in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections.
The JD (U) had won just two of the 40 Lok Sabha seats from Bihar, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its erstwhile partner in the state, bagged as many as 22.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, an ally of the BJP, got five seats. The Congress won two seats, the NCP one, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) four and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party won three.
Accepting responsibility for the defeat, Mr Kumar, 63, had resigned on May 17, a day after the results were announced.
Mr Manjhi, 64, was chosen as the leader of the JD(U) legislature party at its meeting here today and JD (U) chief Sharad Yadav, Mr Kumar and Mr Manjhi later went to meet Governor D Y Patil and apprise him of the party's decision.
No decision on a successor to Mr Kumar could be taken at yesterday's meeting of the JD(U) legislature party after many members insisted that he withdraw his resignation.
At today's meeting, the members asked him to choose his successor after he refused to go back on his decision to quit. Mr Manjhi is said to be one of his closest aides in the Bihar Cabinet. He was among those who were defeated in the Lok Sabha elections.
On June 16 last year, the JD (U) had formally withdrawn from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and ended its 17-year-old partnership with the BJP in Bihar after it became increasingly clear that Mr Narendra Modi would be the Prime Ministerial candidate of the party.