Nitish Backed by 31 Ministers Mostly from Tejaswi Faction
- A total of 11 Janta Dal party ministers, 16 RJD party ministers, one MLA of an independent party, and two congress legislators in the cabinet.
- 31 ministers join the Nitish and RJD cabinet.
- Nitish retains Home Ministry, Tejaswi handed over Health Dept.
Bihar: Today, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar increased the power of his cabinet, by giving the majority of the seats to the alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Governor Phagu Chauhan delivered the oath of office to the new ministers.
A total of 31new ministers were appointed to the Bihar cabinet. The Janata Dal (United) held 11, while the RJD received 16 ministerial berths. The CM has kept Home Ministry to himself and has given Health Ministry to his deputy and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s elder son Tej Pratap has been made Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Sumit Kumar Singh, the lone MLA from the Independent Party, together with two members of the Congress and one representative from Jitin Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha also took the oath of office as cabinet ministers. JD(U)’s Vijay Choudhary has got Finance Ministry.
The RJD has, predictably, given a significant number of seven berths to Yadavs, including Tej Pratap Yadav, the elder son of party president Lalu Prasad. It also gave representation to the upper castes in keeping with the wider social outreach by deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav.
According to sources, Nitish Kumar believed that the BJP was trying to replicate the Maharashtra model, where the Uddhav Thackeray government was overthrown by senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, who is currently the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
The overall strength of the Bihar Grand Alliance is 163. After Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh pledged his support to Nitish Kumar, the party’s actual strength increased to 164. On August 24, the Bihar assembly is set to vote in favour of the new administration with a majority.