Sushil Kumar Modi, president of the Bhartiya Janata Dal in Bihar, has been elected leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party legislature party of the newly elected Bihar assembly. He will hold the post of the deputy chief minister in the cabinet of Nitish Kumar, who will be sworn in on Thursday as the next chief minister of Bihar.
Meanwhile, Nitish Kumar was Wednesday unanimously chosen leader of the newly-elected Janata Dal (United) legislative party in the 14th Bihar assembly.
The legislators raised their hands in support as soon as senior party leader Manzar Alam proposed his name at the JD(U) state headquarters.
BJP's Nand Kishore Yadav proposed the name of Kumar which was seconded by JD-U's Shahid Ali Khan, Ram Nath Thakur and Renu Devi at a joint meeting of the newly elected MLAs of BJP and JD-U.
Deputy-chief-minister-designate Sushil Kumar Modi, BJP Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, party General Secretary Arun Jaitley, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti and JD-U parliamentary board Chairman Sharad Yadav were present at the joint meeting.
Former chief minister and RJD leader Rabri Devi will be leader of opposition in the assembly. Rabri told newspersons on Wednesday that she was ready to start a new innings.
Rabri Devi said that her role will be to expose the shortcomings of the National Democratic Alliance government.
"If Nitish Kumar fails to fulfil promises, we will raise our voice on behalf of the people," she said.
Earlier, Nitish, who is a Lok Sabha member from Barh, was given a tumultous welcome on arriving in Patna from New Delhi.
Hundreds of slogan-shouting supporters welcomed him with garlands at the airport.
Born on January 5, 1952, in Patna, Modi is a science graduate who was a member of the Bihar Assemby from 1990-2004. Member of Parliament from Bhagalpur, Modi will have to resign from his parliamentary seat and get elected as a member of the Bihar assembly to continue as the deputy chief minister.
"He is a product of the Jai Prakash Narain movement and is seniormost among three Bihar leaders -- Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav and himself. He is a fine leader who has the spirit to fight against all odds. He was leader of the opposition from 1996-2004," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told rediff.com on phone.
Close confidant of Arun Jaitley, BJP general secretary incharge of the Bihar elections, Modi has the backing of former prime minister of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and BJP president Lal Kishenchand Advani. Like Nitish Kumar he also belongs to backward class.
Married to Jessie George, Modi has two sons.
(With agency inputs)
Bihar Elections 2005