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Most JDU faces retained in 28-member Nitish Cabinet: BJP gets 11, LJP one

Manju Verma only woman, Khurshid Alam lone Muslim; Oppn RJD, Cong boycott oath ceremony

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
Updated: July 30, 2017 11:37:23 am
bihar, bihar government, jdu bjp alliance, jdu ljp, bihar alliance, nitish kumar, grand alliance, india news Nitish Kumar with Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan and MP Chirag Paswan at Raj Bhavan in Patna on Saturday. PTI

A DAY after winning the vote of confidence, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday inducted 26 ministers in his Cabinet — 14 from the JD(U), 11 from the BJP, and one from the LJP. Nitish and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi had been sworn-in on Thursday, a day after he quit as chief minister of the Grand Alliance government, also comprising the RJD and Congress, and joined hands with the BJP. While top NDA leaders, including Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, attended today’s swearing-in, Opposition RJD and Congress stayed away in protest.

Paswan’s brother and LJP’s Bihar president Pashupati Kumar Paras, who is neither an MLA nor an MLC, was made a minister from the LJP quota. The party has two MLAs in the Assembly. Among other NDA constituents, RLSP, which also has two MLAs, did not get a look-in since the party is split between factions led by Union minister Upendra Kushwaha and Jehanabad MP Arun Kumar. HAM(S), which has the lone MLA in former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjji, had declined the offer for a ministerial berth. Manjhi is likely to be “accommodated in some other position”, most probably as a governor, after a while, sources said.

JD(U) retained its team from the Grand Alliance government, with Manju Verma being the only woman minister and Khurshid, alias Firoz Alam, the lone Muslim face in the Cabinet. To keep a caste balance, the BJP has seven ministers from among its Scheduled Caste, OBC and EBC MLAs, and five from upper caste groups. For the regional balance, the party gave ministerial positions to Ram Narayan Mandal (BJP’s lone MLA from Banka and Bhagalpur region), BJP spokesperson Vinod Narayan Jha, who had lost from Benipatto and is now an MLC, and Motihari legislator Pramod Kumar (also an OBC).

BJP veterans from Nitish’s previous NDA Cabinet, Nand Kishore Yadav and Prem Kumar, are back. Former BJP state president and the party’s Himachal Pradesh in-charge Mangal Pandey, whose name was on the list, could not reach Patna for the oath ceremony.For the JD(U), Dinesh Chandra Yadav and Ramji Rishidev are the new faces in this Cabinet. Besides Bijendra Prasad Yadav, a minister in all Nitish Cabinets since he first led an NDA government in 2005, some of the prominent JD(U) leaders retained are Sharavan Kumar, Jai Kumar Singh, Rajiv Ranjan Singh and Santosh Kumar Nirala.

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Nand Kishore Yadav, the former Leader of Opposition, said , “Now that we have a double engine, with the same set of governments in the state and Centre, Bihar will make rapid progress.” Khurshid Alam, JD(U) leader and the lone Muslim face in the ministry, said: “The BJP is like a part of (our) political family and should not be maligned. Nothing bad had happened when Nitish Kumar had been with NDA for 17 years, and now that he is back to NDA nothing (bad) will happen.”

While Nitish has the home, general administration and vigilance portfolios, Deputy CM Modi will hold charge of finance, commercial tax, forest and IT departments. Nand Kishore Yadav will look after the road construction department.

Here is the list of Bihar cabinet ministers:

Bihar’s ministers

1. Nitish Kumar, chief minister, home, general adminjstration and vigilance
2. Sushil Kumar Modi, deputy CM, finance, commercial tax, forest and IT
3.Bijendra Prasad Yadav, energy, excise and prohibition
4. Shravan Kumar, rural development and parliamentary affairs
5. Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, water resources and planning and development
6. Maheshwar Hazari, building construction
7. Kapildev Kamat, panchayati raj
8. Shailesh Kumar, rural works
9. Santosh Kumar Nirala, transport
10. Jai Kumar Singh, industry and science technologu
11. Manju Verma, social welfare
12. Ramji Rishidev, SC and ST welfare
13. Krishnandan Prasad Verma, education
14. Khursheed alias Firoz Alam
15. Madan Sahni, food and consumer protection
16. Dinesh Chandra Yadav, minor irrigation and disaster management

BJP
17. Nand Kishore Yadav, road construction
18. Prem Kumar, agriculture
19. Mangal Pandey, health
20.. Ram Narayan Mandal, revenue and kand reform
21. Suresh Kumar Sharma, town planning and housing
22. Vijay Kumar Sinha, labour resources
23. Vinod Narayan Jha, public health and engineering department
24. Braj Kishore Bind, oBC and EBC
25. Vinod Kumar Singh, mines and minerals
26. Rana Randhir Singh, cooperative
27. Pramod Kumar, tourism
28. Pashupati Kumar Paras (LJP), animal husbandry and fishery

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