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I accept the mandate with humility: Nitish Kumar

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
November 22, 2005 13:35 IST
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Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar, who led the National Democratic Alliance to victory in Bihar, has thanked the people of Bihar and complimented the Election Commission for doing a wonderful job of supervising the elections.

"The Election Commission of India has done a good job in Bihar. It has broken the myth that you can never have free and fair polls in the state. The people of Bihar have given us a mandate, which I accept it with full humility," Nitish Kumar told journalists, after a long-awaited interaction outside his home in New Delhi.

He was flanked by political leaders Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Sharad Yadav, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushil Kumar Modi and Ravi Shankar Prasad.

"Our first job would be to give good administration to the people of Bihar and bring the state back on track," Kumar said.

Asked if he would demand the resignation of Buta Singh as governor, Kumar said these were issues of the past and he had no comment to offer. He also said he was hearing for the first time, from the media, about the possibility of a deputy chief minister.

"This issue has not been discussed in the past and I do not know from where you got it. As far as government formation is concerned, we already have a common minimum programme, which was chalked out before the Bihar elections, and the same may be adopted for running the government.  Matters relating to government formation would be clarified in a day or two, when will I reach Patna," he said.

When journalists told him his mother expected him to give a clean government to the people of Bihar, he said he was thankful to his mother whose blessings he needs.

"Like her, there are lakhs of mothers of Bihar whose blessings are also with me and I hope to fulfill those aspirations. The first task would be to provide a good government - a government that works," he said.

He expressed the hope that under the new dispensation Bihar would lead the country in developmental work and in all spheres of life.

Nitish Kumar also thanked journalists for addressing him as the next chief minister of Bihar, even before the legislators have elected him leader of the next government.

Complete coverage: Bihar elections

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi