Former Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who pressed the refresh button making Jitan Ram Manjhi his successor last fortnight, has gone into a revamp mode at the government and party level.
While the JD(U) leader is set to make a compact core committee of the party to assist him, there will also be full-fledged cabinet expansion this week. Sources said former Munger MP and close Nitish aide Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, who was recently made a member of Legislative Council, could be made a minister and given the position of deputy CM. Lalan Sharaf, another chief strategist of Nitish also an MLC, may be too made a minister. Other names doing the round for ministerial berths are of former RJD leaders Samrat Choudhary and Ramlakhan Ram Raman.
Sources said Agriculture minister Narendra Singh could be sent to Rajya Sabha with Sharad Yadav and prominent Kushwaha leader Shakuni Choudhary to take all three RS seats vacated by Ramvilas Paswan, Ram Kripal Yadav and Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
One of the two sons of Narendra Singh (both MLAs) can also be made minister in next cabinet expansion.
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“Needless to say that next cabinet expansion will have stamp of Nitish Kumar as his big revamp plan for Mission 2015 Assembly polls. Nitishji has said no to an alliance with RJD and will bank on development agenda now,” a source said.
Nitish Kumar, who is going to move to new house shortly, will meet all 118 MLAs, two MPs and all top party functionaries one-on-one in the coming three weeks for feedback and suggestions. He will also meet leaders from different castes.
Sources said Nitish Kumar’s core group could consist of his close aides like party’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Singh, minister Shyam Rajak and Basistha Narayan Singh besides other leaders.
“Nitishji wants a compact team instead of the current jumbo team. The idea is to showcase development agenda with focus on rapid improvement of power supply,” a leader said.