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Did Not Discuss Cabinet Expansion In Thursday Meeting With BJP, Says Nitish Kumar | India News

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PATNA: Contrary to general belief in state NDA circles, CM Nitish Kumar revealed on Friday that the issue of cabinet expansion was not discussed during Thursday’s meeting of BJP and JD (U) leaders at the state capital here.
BJP National Secretary General Bhupender Yadav and his two deputy CMs had visited CM Nitish Kumar in the state capital on Thursday. Yadav, accompanied by BJP State President Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, also met with JD (U) National President RCP Singh on Thursday.
It was widely believed that the high-level leaders of both NDA allies, during their meetings on Thursday, held a discussion on the expansion of the cabinet that is pending for almost two months.
But Nitish Kumar surprised many NDA leaders on Friday when he revealed that there were no talks on the issue of cabinet expansion during the meeting of the BJP and JD (U) leaders on Thursday.
“There was no talk about cabinet expansion during yesterday’s meetings. There were only general conversations. No political talks were held during yesterday’s meeting. Today, I saw reports in the newspapers about the expansion of the cabinet. Previously, there was hardly ever such a delay in cabinet expansion. In our previous governments, he used to do a cabinet expansion in the early days, ”Nitish told reporters as he left his office at the main secretariat here.
Nitish also said that the cabinet expansion would be done only after the BJP submits its report (read the list of possible ministers) to JD (U). He said: “To date, only 14 ministers are in the state cabinet. The expansion will take place once they (BJP) submit their report, ”said Nitish.
At present, Bihar’s cabinet has a total of 14 ministers, less than half its legal force of 36. The assembly has 243 elected members.
When Nitish was sworn in as CM for the record seventh time on November 16 last year, Governor Phagu Chauhan also sworn in to 14 ministers. But then Education Minister Mewalal Choudhary had to resign three days after taking the oath due to a pending case against him. Thus, the number of ministers in the state cabinet was reduced to 14, including the CM.
Previously, cabinet expansion was expected after the end of the first five-day session of the 17th state assembly that concluded on November 27 last year. JD (U) Acting Chairman Ashok Choudhary once said that the cabinet expansion would take place shortly after the first assembly session. But it couldn’t happen.

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