New Bihar cabinet takes oath; RJD gets the biggest share
Patna, Aug 16: The newly formed cabinet in Bihar expanded on Tuesday when 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.
Tej Pratap Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav's brother and Lalu Yadav's elder son, was also sworn in on Tuesday as one of the ministers.
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.
The state cabinet can have a maximum of 36 ministers. The next step now would be distribution of portfolios.
It is expected that JD(U) will retain its existing ministries such as Home, Vigilance, Education, Building Construction, Minority Affairs, Social Welfare, and Water Resources. Meanwhile, RJD is set to get ministries such as Finance, Commercial Taxes, Health, Road Construction, Disaster Management, and Environment and Forest.
Last week, Nitish Kumar had quit the ruling coalition with the BJP in a surprise move. He returned to the Mahagathbandhan, which he had left in 2017, as differences with the BJP peaked.
In the 243-member assembly, the JD(U) has 43 seats in total. The RJD - meanwhile - has almost double the number of MLAs.
Party-wise list of ministers in new Bihar cabinet:
2. Tejashwi Yadav (RJD) - Deputy CM
3. Vijay Kumar Chaudhary (JDU)
4. Bijendra Yadav (JDU)
5. Shravan Kumar (JDU)
6. Ashok Choudhary (JDU)
7. Leshi Singh (JDU)
8. Sanjay Jha (JDU)
9. Madan Sahni (JDU)
10. Sheela Kumari (JDU)
11. Sunil Kumar (JDU)
12. Mohd Zama Khan (JDU)
13. Jayant Raj (JDU)
14. Tej Pratap Yadav (RJD)
15. Alok Mehta (RJD)
16. Surendra Prasad Yadav (RJD)
17. Ramanand Yadav (RJD)
18. Kumar Sarvajeet (RJD)
19. Lalit Yadav (RJD)
20. Samir Kumar Mahaseth (RJD)
21. Chandrashekhar (RJD)
22. Jitendra Kumar Rai (RJD)
23. Anita Devi (RJD)
24. Sudhakar Singh (RJD)
25. Md Israil Mansuri (RJD)
26. Surendra Ram (RJD)
27. Kartikeya Singh (RJD)
28. Shahnawaz Alam (RJD)
29. Shamim Ahmed (RJD)
30. Afaque Alam (Congress)
31. Murari Gautam (Congress)
32. Santosh Kumar Suman (HAM)
33. Sumit Kumar Singh (Independent)