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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar expands his cabinet; distributes portfolios

Shubhanshu Sharma

Shubhanshu SharmaBy Shubhanshu Sharma

Published on 29 July 2017 12:50 PM GMT

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar expands his cabinet; distributes portfolios
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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar expands his cabinet; distributes portfolios
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Patna: After clearing the floor test in the Bihar Assembly, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday expanded his cabinet of ministers in the state.

Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi administered the oath to 26 new ministers at the Raj Bhawan.

It may be mentioned that Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Friday took oath as the Chief Minister and Deputy CM of the state, respectively.

One BJP legislator, Mangal Pandey, failed to take oath as he was held up in Shimla in Himachal Pradesh due to bad weather.

Nitish Kumar refused to induct ministers from two allies of the NDA in his cabinet -- Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) of Union Minister Upender Kushwaha and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

Nitish Kumar informed BJP leaders that he would keep the two parties out of the government.

Besides the 14 ministers from JD-U, 12 ministers are from the BJP and one from its ally LJP.

The JD-U has inducted most of those from the party who were ministers in the previous Grand Alliance government, to avoid any controversy.

On the other hand, the BJP named those as ministers who are considered close to Deputy Chief Minister and party leader Sushil Kumar Modi.

Manjhi, sensing trouble from Nitish Kumar, on Friday itself said he was not keen to join the cabinet and would work to strengthen his party. Nitish Kumar has not forgotten how Manjhi had betrayed him when he was appointed Chief Minister in 2014 by him.

Manjhi had lobbied with the BJP to induct three leaders of his party into the cabinet after it was decided that Pasupati Kumar Paras from the LJP will be inducted in the cabinet. Paras is the younger brother of LJP chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

Paras is not a member of the legislative assembly. He was defeated in the 2015 assembly polls. Paswan is said to have put pressure on the BJP to induct him in the cabinet.

"Manjhi reportedly told BJP leaders that if Pasupati Kumar Paras can be inducted in the cabinet despite the fact that he is not a legislator, then his party leaders should also be inducted on the same lines," a BJP leader said.

Manjhi is the lone legislator of his party.

JD-U leaders said that Nitish Kumar has strong reservations against Upender Kushwaha, who had repeatedly attacked and targeted him in the last three years. Kushwaha is a friend-turned-foe of Nitish Kumar in the state politics.

"Nitish Kumar does not like Upender Kushwaha. When he proposed the name of one of his party legislators to be inducted in the cabinet, Nitish Kumar said no to it," another JD-U leader said.

Nitish Kumar on Wednesday resigned as the Chief Minister, dumping Grand Alliance partners Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress.

He again took oath as the Chief Minister with the support of the National Democratic Alliance on Thursday. Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi took oath as Deputy Chief Minister.

Also Read: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to expand cabinet on Saturday

Party-wise list of the leaders who took oath as ministers:

JD-U

  • Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh
  • Bijendra Yadav
  • Shravan Kumar
  • Krishnandan Verma
  • Maheshwar Hazari
  • Santosh Nirala
  • Madan Sahaney
  • Khurshid Alam Firoz
  • Sailesh Kumar
  • Jai Kumar Sinha
  • Manju Verma
  • Kapildev Kamat
  • Ramesh Rishidev
  • Dinesh Chandra Yadav

BJP

  • Nandkishore Yadav
  • Prem Kumar
  • Ramnarayan Mandal
  • Mangal Pandey (yet to take oath)
  • Vinod Narayan Jha
  • Suresh Sharma
  • Krishnakumar Rishi
  • Vinod Kushwaha
  • Rana Randhir
  • Vijay Sinha
  • Pramod Kumar
  • Brij Kishore Bind

LJP

  • Pashupati Kumar Paras

Later in the day, Nitish Kumar distributed the portfolios among the newly elected ministers.

Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma is the new Education Minister, Nand Kishore Yadav new Road Construction Minister and Prem Kumar is the state Agriculture Minister. All the three are ministers from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) quota.

Nitish Kumar has himself kept with himself Home, General Administration, Vigilance and other departments that were not given to any one.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has also been assigned the portfolios of Finance, Forest and Environment, and Information Technology.

Senior Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Bijender Prasad Yadav is the new Bihar Energy, Excise and Prohibition Minister, Lalan Singh is Water Resource and Planning Minister and Sharavan Kumar is the Rural Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister.

A day after winning the trust vote, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday expanded his Cabinet, inducting 27 ministers -- 14 from his JD-U and 13 from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi administered the oath to 26 new ministers at the Raj Bhavan.

One BJP legislator, Mangal Pandey, failed to take oath as he was held up in Shimla in Himachal Pradesh due to bad weather.

Nitish Kumar refused to induct ministers from two allies of the NDA in his cabinet -- Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) of Union Minister Upender Kushwaha and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

Nitish Kumar informed BJP leaders that he would keep the two parties out of the government.

Shubhanshu Sharma

Shubhanshu Sharma

Writer has 6 years of experience in digital media. Presently working as Senior Sub Editor at newstrack.com. An avid reader and always willing to learn new things and techniques.

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