Bihar Cabinet Expansion Highlights: Around 30 MLAs, including Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav’s brother Tej Pratap Yadav, were sworn in as part of Bihar’s new Cabinet under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. As anticipated, a lion’s share of the ministerial berths have gone to the RJD, which is the single largest party in the state. According to the list of portfolios allotted, Nitish retained the Home department, while Tejashwi was given the Health department. Among the ministers who took oath, 16 were from RJD, 11 from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), two from Congress, one from ex-CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and one Independent.
The RJD has, predictably, given a significant number of seven berths to Yadavs, including Tej Pratap, who is also the elder son of party president Lalu Prasad. It, however, also gave representation to the upper castes in keeping with the wider social outreach by deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, PTI reported. Among those from the RJD quota were Kartikeya Singh, a Bhumihar MLC, and Sudhakar Singh, a Rajput, whose father Jagadanand Singh is currently the state president.
The JD(U) is likely to keep the portfolios of Home (it was with Nitish in the previous administration), Vigilance, Education, Building Construction, Minority Affairs, Social Welfare, and Water Resources and the RJD may get departments such as Finance, Commercial Taxes, Health, Road Construction, Disaster Management, and Environment and Forest. The RJD-JD(U) agreement on ministries is likely to be similar to the one Nitish had with the BJP. The Cabinet expansion comes days after Nitish took oath as Chief Minister once again, with Tejashwi as his deputy, after parting ways with the BJP and re-joining the Mahagathbandhan alliance.