As Janata Parivar leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad, H D Deve Gowda and Dushyant Chautala and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee confirmed their presence at Nitish Kumar’s swearing-in function on Sunday, it seems likely that RJD and Congress will join the Nitish government after the trust vote.
There has also been speculation in political circles about the inclusion of two deputy CMs — one Mahadalit and one Muslim. But sources close to Kumar said his main focus will be “governance and not social engineering”.
“If RJD and Congress agree to join the government, it will be a huge bonus. But Lalu Prasad is yet to settle issues and decide who between Misa Bharti and A B Siddiqui should be deputy CM. Though Congress legislators are keen on joining the government, central leadership will take a final call,” said the source, adding that Kumar’s top priority would be to arrest drift in governance.
Kumar is likely to be sworn in with a small cabinet that may include veterans like Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Shyam Rajak, P K Shahi, Bijendra Yadav, Ramai Ram, Lesi Singh and a few others, keeping in mind caste and regional balance. It is learnt that Mahadalit leader Shyam Rajak might well be given a bigger portfolio.