Bihar Cabinet expansion: Nitish Kumar retains Home Ministry; Tejashwi Yadav gets Health
Patna, Aug 16: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar retained the all-important home department, giving him direct control over the state police, as portfolios were on Tuesday allocated in the new cabinet.
Kumar has also kept with himself general administration, cabinet secretariat, election and "any other departments not assigned to others", said an official communication.
Deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav has got key portfolios like health, road construction, urban housing and development and rural works. Yadav's elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav has been given environment, forestry and climate change.
Besides the CM and the deputy CM, only Vijay Kumar Chaudhary (finance, commercial tax and parliamentary affairs) and Bijendra Yadav (power and planning and development) have got more than one portfolios.
Earlier, 31 ministers took oath, with the RJD getting a lion's share, and care having been taken to represent all sections of the society, including the minorities.
Among the ministers who took oath, 16 were from RJD, 11 from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U), two from Congress, one from ex-CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and one Independent.
The number of Muslims in the new cabinet is five, up from only one in the previous NDA government that fell last week after the chief minister severed ties with the BJP.
The RJD has, predictably, given a significant number of seven berths to Yadavs, including Tej Pratap Yadav, the elder son of party president Lalu Prasad. It, however, also gave representation to the upper castes in keeping with the wider social outreach by deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav.
Among those from the RJD quota were Kartikeya Singh, a Bhumihar MLC, and Sudhakar Singh, a Rajput, whose father Jagadanand Singh is currently the state president. The JD(U) has retained its ministers from the previous dispensation. The Congress is represented by a Dalit and a Muslim.