Patna, Aug 15, 2022: After Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav joined hands to form a new government in Bihar, all eyes are now on the cabinet expansion slated to be held tomorrow, August 16 at 11:30 am.
Janata Dal (United) on August 9 unanimously decided to snap ties with the BJP and Nitish Kumar’s party joined hands with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in a stunning switch of power.
Nitish Kumar, who took oath as Bihar chief minister on August 10 for a record eighth time in a no-frills ceremony at Raj Bhavan, is likely to retain the all-important Home portfolio, while the RJD may get most of the departments that were previously with the BJP.
The RJD, which has the highest number of lawmakers in the Bihar Assembly, is likely to get 16 ministerial berths and the JD(U) is likely to keep 11.
Jitan Ram Manjhi Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) is likely to get one ministerial berth and Congress, which is part of the Grand alliance, is likely to have two cabinet berths. A total of 31 MLAs, including one independent, are likely to take oath as ministers tomorrow.
Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh from Chakai in Jamui district was the science and technology minister in the previous Nitish Kumar-led cabinet.
The list of probable ministers from the JD(U) includes Bijendra Prasad Yadav,Vijay Chaudhary, Shrawan Kumar, Ashok Chaudhary, Madan Sahni, Sanjay Kumar Jha, Jama Khan, Sumit Kumar Singh, Leshi Singh among few others.
RJD ministerial probables include Tej Pratap Yadav, Surendra Yadav, Shashi Bhushan Singh, Bhudev Chaudhary, Anita Devi, Kumar Sarvjeet, Alok Mehta, Shahnawaz Alam, Sudhakar Singh, and Samir Mahaseth among a few others.
From Congress, Shakeel Ahmad and Rajesh Kumar are favourites for the minister posts. Santosh Suman Manjhi from HAM, the elder son of former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, is also likely to be inducted into the cabinet on Tuesday.
Though there is likely to be a dominant Yadav presence in the Cabinet from the RJD quota, the party is also trying to accommodate non-Yadav Other Backward Class (OBC) leaders and Dalits in the ministerial council.
CM Nitish Kumar had deserted the NDA for the first time in 2013 after Narendra Modi became the coalition’s Prime Ministerial candidate and then again ditched his coalition with the RJD-Congress combine in 2017 to walk back into the NDA camp.
What began as a tiff between the two partners ended up in a full-blown split after Nitish Kumar accused the BJP of trying to split his party and suspected former union minister and JD(U) leader RCP Singh to be in cahoots with the saffron camp. Singh, once a close aide of Nitish Kumar, soon resigned over charges of corruption and admitted that joining the BJP was an option.
Courtesy: India Today