Nitish Kumar’s new cabinet: probable mixture of young and old faces
The fate of Nitish Kumar, the head of ruler Janata Dal (United), has been decided as he is set to be sworn in as Bihar’s prime minister for the seventh time.
Now, the suspense revolves around his new council of ministers.
Several names are hanging around JD (U) ‘s main ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the two smaller partners: former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), and Bollywood set designer Vikassheel Insaan Party Mukesh Sahani.
There is much speculation that up to 14 newly elected lawmakers from the JD (U) and the BJP could be sworn in and one each from HAM (S) and VIP on Monday night.
Some new faces are also likely to join the ministry.
Shreyasi Singh, a national level shooting champion, who is elected as a BJP member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Jamui seat, and the youngest daughter of the late JD (U) Digvijay Singh leader, is one of the likely names being considered for a ministerial position. Singh is likely to be accommodated by the BJP.
Sunil Kumar, a former Director General of Police (DGP), who had won from the Bhore assembly seat in Gopalganj district, is a likely contender for JD (U) ‘s quota.
The BJP can fill the key position of Spokesperson in Bihar’s new 243-member legislative assembly due to the slim majority of the NDA. It will also give the BJP a ruse to protect smaller parties, such as the HAM (S) and the VIP, which are likely to be vulnerable due to alleged horse dealing by the main opposition, the Grand Alliance or the Mahagathbandhan ( MGB), made up of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and the left-wing parties.
Former Minister Nand Kishore Yadav and former Vice President Amarendra Pratap Singh are the likely names circulating for the position of President.
Union Internal Affairs Minister Amit Shah is likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the NDA government in Raj Bhawan at 4.30pm on Monday.
“BJP National Chairman JP Nadda Shah and the party’s national secretary general (organization) BL Santhosh will attend the swearing-in ceremony on Monday,” said Sanjay Mayunkh, the party’s national spokesperson.
BJP’s Tarkishore Prasad is seen as the leader in the race to become a CM Kumar MP, as his predecessor Sushil Kumar Modi was appointed to a larger role in the NDA led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Center.
“I will take the oath on Monday. In all probability, I will work as a CM deputy in the new government, ”Prasad told the media Monday morning.
Renu Kumari, a four-time member of the Bettiah justice in the West Champaran district, may also be elevated to executive vice president and is likely to get a key portfolio in the new cabinet.
Prasad, an MLA BJP from Katihar in the Seemanchal region, became the leader in the CM deputy race on Sunday after Modi was drafted into a central government post.
Modi later tweeted that he had been fortunate to be rewarded handsomely by the BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), in his 40-year political life. He said that he would like to serve the party as a worker and did not want any position.
The new cabinet is likely to be expanded in the coming months.
The NDA has developed a formula for the allocation of ministerial positions, such as two seats for every seven assembly seats earned by each ally.
The JD (U), who has 43 MLA for his kitten, will obtain a maximum of 14 ministerial positions after applying that formula. The cap for the BJP, which has 74 lawmakers in its ranks, is 20. Both HAM (S) and VIP will have to settle for one ministerial position each.
Bijendra Prasad Yadav (former Minister of Energy), Vijay Kumar Chaudhary (former President), Shravan Kumar (former Minister of Rural Development), Ashok Choudhary (former Minister of Building Construction) are inclined to join the new cabinet of the JD (U ) Fee.
The BJP can assign portfolios to Prem Kumar (former Minister of Agriculture) and Vijay Kumar Sinha (former Minister of Labor). The names of two former BJP ministers, Vinod Narayan Jha and Nitish Mishra, are also circulating.
Sahni from VIP could be sworn in as minister in Bihar’s new cabinet. Santosh Suman, son of the head of HAM (S) and ex-Bihar CM Manjhi, can also become a minister.
Sahni had contested since the Simri-Bakhtiarpur assembly in the Saharsa district, but lost the elections. He can be included in the cabinet as a member of the Bihar Legislative Council (MLC) and could be accommodated with the governor’s fee.
“We hope that the new cabinet will be representative of all sectors of Bihar society,” said Ashok Kumar Sinha, spokesman for the state’s BJP unit.