Bihar Cabinet Expansion News Updates: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday expanded his new cabinet, a week after his party JD(U) ended its alliance with BJP in the state and staked claim to form a government with the RJD, Congress, HAM and Left parties. So far, the new cabinet only consisted of the Bihar CM and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav from RJD. As many as 31 members from the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) were sworn in as ministers in Kumar’s new cabinet. The oath-taking ceremony was held at the Raj Bhavan at 11:30 am today.
With the state cabinet size limited to 36, including the CM, Kumar is likely to keep few portfolios empty for future expansion, according to reports.
In the 242-member state assembly, the JDU-RJD-HAM-Congress-CPI(M-L)-CPI ‘Mahagathbandhan’ has 163 legislators collectively, with Kumar’s JD(U) having 45 MLAs, 4 MLAs from Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM, 79 from Tejashwi Yadav-led RJD, 12 from CPI(M-L) and 4 from CPI. RJD, the single-largest party in the state, got the maximum ministerial berths, followed by JD(U). The RJD has got 16 ministers while the JD(U) has 11 ministers. The Congress has got two ministers. Keeping the Muslim-Dalit equation in mind, Congress has named Afaque Alam and Murari Gautam as their ministerial candidates. The ministerial portfolios is likely to be announced later in the day.
The JD(U) is slated to retain Home, Vigilance, Education, Building Construction, Minority Affairs, Social Welfare, and Water Resources while the RJD may get key portfolios such as Finance, Commercial Taxes, Health, Road Construction, Disaster Management, and Environment and Forest, according to The Indian Express.
Lalu’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav is also got a ministerial berth. In a bid to appease its OBC voter base, RJD has included the names of many leaders from the Yadav community for the ministerial berths. Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Ashok Choudhary, Bijendra Yadav, Shravan Kumar and Leshi Singh from JD(U) were retained in Kumar’s cabinet. Independent candidate Sumit Kumar Singh was sworn in as a minister in Kumar’s cabinet.
Santosh Suman, son of HAM founder and former CM Jitan Ram Manhi, was inducted in Kumar’s cabinet. The party, which has four MLAs, had also decided to end its alliance with NDA after Kumar’s decision last week.
Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the Bihar CM for a record eighth time on August 10. During his oath-taking ceremony, Kumar had called upon all the Opposition parties to “stick together” ahead of the 2024 general elections.