Hindustani Awam Morcha founder Jitan Ram Manjhi was on Thursday sworn in as pro-tem Speaker of the 17th Bihar Assembly, reported the Hindustan Times. Bihar Governor Phagu Chouhan administered the oath of office to the former chief minister. Assembly proceedings will start from November 23.

Manjhi, who was elected from the Imamganj Assembly constituency, will be the pro-tem Speaker for November 23 and 24 till a Speaker is elected.

A pro-tem Speaker is selected from amongst the senior-most members of the House. The elected pro-tem Speaker will administer the oath to the newly-elected members of the House on the first two days. An election to choose the Speaker of the 243-member House will be held on the third day.

In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Assembly session will be held in the Central Hall of the House with seating arrangement ensuring physical distancing norms and other related Covid-19 protocols.

The National Democratic Alliance returned to power in Bihar with a slender majority. The coalition won 125 seats in the 243-member State Assembly. The Opposition Grand Alliance bagged 110. The Rashtriya Janata Dal, led by 31-year-old Tejashwi Yadav, emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats. Eight more members are in the newly-elected Assembly, including five members of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.

Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the chief minister of the state on Monday. Bharatiya Janata Party’s Renu Kumari and Tarkishore Prasad took oath as the deputy chief ministers of the state. Eleven other leaders were sworn in as Cabinet ministers. They were on Tuesday allocated portfolios in the Cabinet.