Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will expand his two-member cabinet today, with the biggest chunk of seats going to alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), sources have said.
Here are the top 10 updates on this big story
- A total of 31 ministers will be inducted into the cabinet today from various parties that are part of Mahagathbandhan or the Grand Alliance, including the Congress. The ceremony will be held at around 11.30 am at the Raj Bhavan.
- The RJD is likely to get 16 ministerial berths, followed by the Janata Dal (United) which will keep 11. Two legislators from the Congress, one from Jitin Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha and the lone Independent MLA, Sumit Kumar Singh, will also take oath, sources said.
- Nitish Kumar is expected to retain most of the ministers from his party, including Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Ashok Choudhary, Sanjay Jha, Madan Sahni, Jayant Raj, Sheela Mandal, Bijendra Yadav, Shravan Kumar, Sunil Kumar and Jama Khan.
- The RJD probables for the cabinet berths are – Tej Pratap Yadav, Surendra Yadav, Lalit Yadav, Kumar Sarvjeet, Surendra Ram, Shahnawaz Alam, Sameer Mahaseth, Bharat Mandal, Anita Devi and Sudhakar Singh.
- From Congress, Afaque Alam and Murari Lal Gautam will be inducted into the cabinet as ministers, while Hindustani Awam Morcha’s Santosh Suman is also likely to be sworn in.
- The Bihar cabinet can have up to 36 ministers, including the Chief Minister. Some ministerial berths will be kept vacant for future cabinet expansion, sources said.
- Nitish Kumar had broken away from the BJP and formed a government with the RJD and other parties earlier this month. The Chief Minister and his deputy – RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav – took oath on August 10.
- Sources said he felt that the BJP was attempting a repeat of the Maharashtra model – where the Uddhav Thackeray government was dismantled with the rebellion by senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde who is now the Chief Minister.
- The Bihar Grand Alliance has a combined strength of 163. Its effective strength climbed to 164 after Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh extended its support to Nitish Kumar.
- The new government is likely to prove majority in the Bihar assembly on August 24