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Nitish to be elected NDA leader in Bihar

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
November 23, 2005 09:46 IST
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Nitish Kumar of Janata Dal United, will be elected leader of the National Democratic Alliance in Patna at a joint meeting of the newly elected members of JD(U) and the Bhartiya Janata Party at 6 pm on Wednesday.

Kumar will reach Patna from New Delhi around noon on Wednesday, after he is felicitated by the BJP parliamentary party at a meeting in the Parliament House in the morning.

"I have enormous tasks ahead of me. We have broken the myth that Bihar cannot have free and fair elections and now we have to break the myth that Bihar cannot see development. I want to make Bihar one of the topmost states in the country," Nitish told newsmen late Tuesday night, after a meeting with his colleague Sharad Yadav.

Nitish, who did not contest the Bihar assembly polls, would be first elected leader of the JD(U) party at a meeting of its MLAs at 4 pm on Wednesday, before being elected leader of the NDA alliance.

"After his election, leaders of BJP and JD(U) would accompany him to Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Buta Singh and   stake our claim to form the next government. In all, we expect at least 12 ministers to take the oath along with Nitish Kumar on Thursday afternoon at Gandhi Maidan," Sharad Yadav told

Amongst those who are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony are former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP president L K Advani and former chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh - Prakash Singh Badal, Om Prakash Chautala and Chandrababu Naidu respectively. Mamata Banerjee and Mulayam Singh Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh would also be invited, Sharad Yadav said.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi