NDA conflict: BJP denied berth in Nitish Cabinet during cabinet expansion
This was the first cabinet expansion in two years
PATNA: The first expansion of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar cabinet took place on Sunday. However, none from the BJP or the LJP, JD-U’s two allies in the state, was given berth during this cabinet expansion.
All the eight ministers who took the oath of office and secretary came from the JD-U, the party which chief minister Nitish Kumar leads.
The eight ministers who took the oath included Narendra Narayan Yadav, Shyam Rajak, Ashok Chaudhary, Bima Bharti, Sanjay Jha, Niraj Kumar, Ram Sevak Singh and Lakshmeshwar Rai.
Of them, the first four have served as ministers in the past whereas the last four have become ministers for the first time.
The ministers were administrated the oath at the Raj Bhawan by the Governor Lalji Tandon. The ministers took the oath in a group of four and the whole ceremony last for barely few minutes.
The expansion was considered very significant in the aftermath of the JD-U opting out of the Narendra Modi cabinet after being offered only one ministerial berth. Angry Nitish Kumar has announced not to be a part of the Modi cabinet in future.
Although a few vacancies had occurred after four ministers were elected as Lok Sabha Members while one minister resigned in connection with Muzaffarpur care home sex scandal but the way the chief minister accommodated as many as eight leaders in his cabinet only from his party has triggered various speculations.
This was be the first cabinet expansion of the Nitish Kumar government when he formed his new government with the BJP in July 2017 after breaking alliance with the RJD.
Reports said the BJP is keeping a close watch on the situation and has communicated the matter to top central leadership in New Delhi.
The BJP and the JD-U had won 17 and 16 LS seats respectively in Bihar but the JD-U was offered only one berth in Modi cabinet whereas five from the BJP became ministers from the state.