PATNA: The new Cabinet of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is likely to have over 35 ministers, and the announcement is to be made soon. Earlier in the day, Kumar said that we will soon have Cabinet expansion and portfolios will be decided.
According to Grand Alliance sources, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) will get 14 ministers while the Chief Minister might retain the Home portfolio. The source said that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) will have 16 berths in the Cabinet as it is the largest party in the state. The source said that if the Chief Minister retains the Home portfolio, then the RJD will get the PWD portfolio.
He said that in the new Cabinet, the RJD leader — who might get the ministerial post — is Tejashwi’s elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav. Besides the Yadav family, the RJD leaders also in the list are Alok Mehta, Vijay Prakash Yadav, Bhai Birendra, Vijay Mondal, Chandrasekhar, Surendra Yadav, and Anita Devi.
The source added that from the JD-U, those to be included in the Cabinet are Ashok Chaudhary, Vijay Chaudhary, Sanjay Jha, Shrawan Kumar, Shila Kumari, Jayant Raj, Lesi Singh, Upendra Kushwaha, and Vijendra Yadav. He said that the Congress will get four berths in the Cabinet and among the probable are Ajeet Sharma, Vijay Shankar Dubey and two others.
Even former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) will get one berth in the Cabinet. The source said Manjhi’s son Santosh Kumar Suman will be in the Cabinet of Kumar.
On Wednesday, Kumar took oath as Chief Minister for the eighth time after snapping five- year-old tie with the Bharatiya Janata Party. The JD-U had first ended its ties with the NDA in 2012. It joined hands with the Grand Alliance ahead of 2015 assembly polls after facing a huge loss in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. However, after two years JD-U quit the Grand Alliance of the RJD and Congress in 2017 and once again joined the NDA.