Patna: The Janata Dal (United) leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will be sworn in for the same post for the third time tentatively on November 20.Along with its ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad Yadav, the JD(U) won almost two-thirds of 243 seats in the Bihar Legislative Assembly in the just concluded elections. The JD(U) bagged 71 seats while its ally RJD scored 80. Though the RJD emerged the leader of the Mahaghatbandhan - Grand Alliance - that includes Congress which also improved its tally to 27 from the previous 4, it was agreed upon by all partners to retain Nitish Kumar as chief minister even if any other party gets more seats than JD(U).

Meanwhile, speculation is rife that both the sons of the RJD chief Lalu will be included in the ministry while his daughter Misa Bharathi will be deputy chief minister. Lalu's sons Tejaswi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap secured big wins in Raghopur and Mahua constituencies. Misa Bharti did not contest the election, but she is said to be the choice of Lalu for the deputy CM's post. She can become an MLA later.

Process for govt formation to start on Nov. 14: Nitish

Having secured a decisive mandate in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said that the formal process for government formation will start on November 14, when the state Cabinet will meet and recommend the dissolution of the present House. A legislature party of the grand secular alliance will be held in the afternoon of November 14 to elect a new leader and decide the date and venue for the oath-taking ceremony, Kumar told reporters after emerging from Raj Bhawan, where he had gone to greet Governor Ram Nath Kovind for Diwali.

Kumar said that after Saturday's legislature party meeting, the alliance would formally stake claim to forming the government. To a question regarding the possibility of an RJD leader becoming Deputy Chief Minister, Kumar was non-committal and said merely that everything will be told to you in time... why this anxiety before time?

Saying that the official date for the swearing-in ceremony for the new government would be announced only on November 14, Kumar, however, averred that the media was free to make guesses regarding the date and venue for the said event. Media reports backed by some senior members of JD(U) have indicated November 20 as the most likely date for the oath- taking ceremony at Kumar's favourite venue, Gandhi Maidan.