New Bihar Cabinet takes oath, 14 from JD(U), 11 from BJP
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday evening July 29,2017 expanded his cabinet with twenty-seven ministers from JD(U), BJP and LJP taking the oath. No minister from Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) was inducted into the cabinet.
Governor Keshrinath Tripathi administered the oath of office to 14 ministers from JD(U), 13 from BJP and One from LJP. Nitish Kumar chose not to drop any of the ministers who were part of the cabinet in the previous government. He added two more ministers from his party – Dinesh Chandra Yadav and Ramji Rshidev – to the new government.
In a dramatic turn of events, Nitish Kumar broke out of Mahagathbandhan on Wednesday and stitched alliance with BJP-led NDA the same day. He was sworn in as the sixth chief minister on Thursday, with BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi as deputy chief minister.
Nitish’s new cabinet is comparatively young with 17 out of 27 ministers below 60 years of age. Eight ministers are below 50 years of age. Rana Randheer Singh, BJP MLA from Madhuban, is the youngest minister in the new cabinet.
Senior BJP leaders Nand Kishore Yadav, Prem Kumar and Vinod Narayan Jha also took oath as cabinet ministers. Pashupati Nath Paras, the brother of union minister Ramvilas Paswan, was inducted from LJP.
But none from former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s party HAM and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP found a place in the cabinet. Manjhi declined the offer, saying after serving as a chief minister, it was not proper for him to be a minister. However, despite being the only MLA from his party, he demanded three berths for his party which did not go down well with BJP and JD(U).
At one point, the name of Sudhanshu Shekhar from RLSP surfaced as a probable candidate for a cabinet birth, but Nitish Kumar was reportedly not interested in inducting him, citing recent statements by Upendra Kushwaha against him. RLSP has two members in the assembly, but the party is also divided into two factions, one headed by Jehanabad MP Arun Kumar.
Nitish Kumar – As in the past has kept Home and Personnel with himself
Sushil Kumar Modi – Finance, Commercial Tax, Forest and IT
Nand Kishore Yadav - Road Construction
Prem Kumar - Agriculture
Lallan Singh - Water Resource
Pramod Kumar – Tourism
Maheshwar Hajari – Building Construction
Shailesh Kumar – Rural Development
Suresh Sharma - Urban Development
Vijendra Yadav – Energy
Ramnarayan Mandal – Revenue
Jai Kumar – Industry
Krishnandand Verma – Education