Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Saturday expressed disappointment over being left out of the Bihar Cabinet expansion even as members from another National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) member were inducted. Accusing Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan of being power hungry, he told ANI, “The LJP chief’s political greed is not yet satisfied. He took his family to the Chief Minister’s residence and demanded a Cabinet berth. Is this the state of politics today?” Manjhi further said that he would discuss this matter with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar once he goes back to Bihar.
However, Manjhi refused the offer of himself becoming a minister in the cabinet, saying after serving as a chief minister, it was not proper for him to be a minister. However, despite being the only MLA from his party – the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) (HAM(S)), he demanded three berths for his party which did not go down well with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)). The statement came after Pashupati Kumar Paras, who is the brother of LJP president and Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan was made a minister in the Bihar Cabinet.
The Bihar Assembly on Saturday saw the swearing-in of as many as 27 new ministers, including 14 from the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)), 12 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and one from the LJP. Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the Chief Minister and BJP’s Sushil Modi as the Deputy on Thursday, a day after the former ended the ‘mahagathbandhan’ and came back to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fold, with taking the oath for the sixth time.
JD(U)’s Kapil Dev Kamat, Dinesh Chandra Yadav, Santosh Kumar Nirala, Maheshwar Hazari, Shailesh Kumar, Jay Kumar Singh, Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma and Shrawan Kumar and BJP’s Ramesh Rishidev, Brij Kishor, Rana Randhir Singh, Vinod Narayan Jha, Pramod Kumar and Ram Narayan Mandal among other took oath as ministers in the Bihar Government. Nitish Kumar won the floor test in the Bihar Legislative Assembly with 131 votes in favour and 108 against.
The JD(U) and the BJP MLAs staked claim to form the government in the state, after Nitish ended the ‘mahagathbandhan’ in the state and resigned from his post, instead of Tejashwi Yadav, as was being speculated and expected. Nitish resigned citing political differences with former ally, Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD, over corruption charges against Tejashwi, following which the state saw a rigmarole of political events including dharnas and probationary orders.