Saturday, Oct 08, 2022

Bihar Cabinet Expansion: Nearly 30 Ministers To Be Inducted

The swearing in will take place at 11.30 am inside the Raj Bhavan, highly placed sources said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar File Photo

Nearly 30 MLAs in Bihar are likely to take oath as ministers as part of the cabinet expansion around 11.30am on Tuesday. The swearing-in ceremony will be held in Rajendra Mandapam hall of Raj Bhavan. Sudhakar Singh, son of RJD's state president, Jagdanand Singh, might become a minister, according to sources.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will expand his two-member cabinet, with the biggest chunk of seats going to alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), sources have said.

Nitish Kumar is likely to retain all ministers from the Janata Dal United including Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Ashok Choudhary, Sanjay Jha, Madan Sahni, Jayant Raj, Sheela Mandal, Bijendra Yadav, Shravan Kumar, Sunil Kumar and Jama Khan. 

The JD(U) may drop a few who may have been deemed to be close to the BJP and former JD(U) president RCP Singh who has been accused of trying to split the party at the ex-ally's behest.

Congress state in-charge Bhakt Charan Das has said that the party is tipped to get three ministerial berths, two of which will be filled on Tuesday.

According to Congress sources who did not wish to be named, Afaque Alam and Murari Gautam have been handpicked as part of the party's strategy to back a Muslim and a Dalit.

Earlier, the names of Shakil Ahmed Khan, an AICC secretary and one of the most vocal MLAs, besides Rajesh Ram, were doing the rounds.

From the RJD, the probables for the cabinet berths are -  Tej Pratap Yadav, Surendra Yadav, Lalit Yadav, Kumar Sarvjeet, Surendra Ram, Shahnawaz Alam, Sameer Mahaseth, Bharat Mandal, Anita Devi and Sudhakar Singh. 

Afaque Alam and Murari Lal Gautam from the Congress, and Santosh Suman from the HAM will also take oath, sources said. The lone Independent, Sumit Kumar Singh, is also likely to be sworn in.

The state cabinet can have up to 36 ministers, including the chief minister. The induction of ministers  is expected to keep a few berths vacant for future cabinet expansion.

An in-principle agreement has been reached that the RJD, which is the largest party in the state assembly, will have a lion's share of ministerial berths, followed by Kumar's JD(U).

Nitish Kumar had broken away from the BJP and formed a government with the RJD and other parties earlier this month. The Chief Minister and his deputy - RJD's Tejashwi Yadav - took oath on August 10.

(with inputs from PTI)