Cabinet reshuffle: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar likely to meet PM Modi today
New Delhi, June 23: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today (June 23) amidst speculations around expansion of the Union cabinet and long-awaited Janata Dal (United) representation in it.
According to reports, other issues such as the States battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic and floods are also likely to be addressed in the talks.
On Tuesday, Nitish Kumar arrived in the national capital. However, he downplayed the reports linking his visit to the possible cabinet expansion. "I have no reaction to this. It is their internal matter," the JD(U) leader said, adding that he is in Delhi for eye checkup.
The Bihar Chief Minister said the expansion of cabinet is the privilege of the prime minister, and there is no issue over it.
In 2019, the JD(U) had decided to stay out of the Union Cabinet, when Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government began its second term. Nitish Kumar had decided against having a symbolic representation in the Cabinet with just one minister and demanded that it would have been better had all NDA allies got proportional representation.
It can be seen that the JD(U) has 16 Lok Sabha members, but the BJP had offered it just one berth.
This time, there is expectation that the JD(U) will get more berths, considering the growing expectation within the party and BJP not in a position to upset its crucial ally at this stage.
This wil be Nitish Kumar's second meeting with the Prime Minister after he took over as Chief Minister in 2020. He had last met the Prime Minister in February, 2021, when he had backed the farm laws, describing them in the interest of farmers in the face of protests by the farmers' bodies.