Taking a dig at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) not finding a berth in Sunday morning’s Cabinet expansion, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav stated that one who leaves his people won’t be taken in by others. Speaking to ANI here, Lalu said, “The JD(U) didn’t even get an invitation in the oath ceremony. One who leaves his people won’t be taken in by others. It’s Nitish Kumar’s fate.”
Lalu added that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cocked a snook at turncoat (palturam) Nitish by not indicting anyone from the JD(U) in the Cabinet. He further suggested that former Bihar chief minister and pro-Dalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi should have been given a place in the Cabinet.
Lalu’s comments come in the wake of Nitish undoing the ‘mahagathbandhan’ in Bihar and joining hands with the BJP to be sworn-in as the chief minister again, the very next day. What ensued in the state was no less than a political drama of sorts, wherein the JD(U) and the BJP left no stone unturned to corner the RJD over the corruption allegations slapped against Lalu and his family, and vice versa. Meanwhile, the Cabinet rejig saw the promotion of as many as four Ministers of State to the rank of Cabinet ministers.
Dharmendra Pradhan, the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, took the oath as the Cabinet ministers at the ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Pradhan is known to have spearheaded one of Prime Minister Modi’s main schemes – the “Give it Up” plan for people to forego subsidised cooking gas or LPG voluntarily.
Beside managing to maintain ties with the Opposition parties, Naqvi has done wonders for the Union Government as the spokesperson in the Parliament and outside. Nirmala Sitharaman, serving as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as well as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs under the Ministry of Finance headed by Arun Jaitley, also took the oath.
Sitharaman had travelled to China for a BRICS meeting, in the middle of a lengthy standoff at the border over Doklam. Piyush Goyal, the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, was also sworn-in as the Cabinet minister. He had brought about a turnaround in power production and delivered on the government’s plan to electrify villages.