Bihar: RJD Gives Big Cabinet Representation To Muslims And Yadavs, Nitish Kumar Retains All Ministers

by Nishtha Anushree - Aug 16, 2022 02:39 PM +05:30 IST
Bihar: RJD Gives Big Cabinet Representation To Muslims And Yadavs, Nitish Kumar Retains All MinistersLalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar
Snapshot
  • 31 MLAs took oath as cabinet ministers including 16 from RJD, 11 from JD(U), two from Congress and one from HAM.

    More than half of RJD ministers come from Muslim-Yadav background.

Thirty-one ministers were inducted into the Bihar cabinet as part of the newly formed Mahagathbandhan government in the state. The swearing-in took place around noon on Tuesday (16 August) at Raj Bhavan in Patna.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) got maximum cabinet berths on account of it being the largest party in the coalition, as well as in the state. RJD won 75 seats in the 2020 assembly elections and now it has 80 MLAs as AIMIM MLAs joined the party in June.

While RJD bagged 16 cabinet posts, Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) had to satiate with 11 cabinet berths. Two MLAs from Congress, one from Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) and one independent MLA took oath.

No minister from JD(U) has been dropped. All 11 ministers of JD(U) that were part of the cabinet in the NDA government took oath today.

They are Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Ashok Chaudhary, Shravan Kumar, Leshi Singh, Madan Sahni, Sanjay Kumar Jha, Sunil Kumar, Sheela Kumari Mandal, Jama Khan and Jayant Raj Kushwaha.

Alike JD(U), one Muslim leader from Congress too, Mohammed Afaque Alam took oath. He is a four time consecutive MLA from Kasba of Purnia district and leader of Congress in Bihar legislative assembly. The second minister from Congress, Murari Prasad Gautam is a Dalit.

It was said that Congress was disappointed over getting just two ministerial berths and demanded for three at-least. The party had four ministers in 2015 Mahagathbandhan cabinet. However, it should be noted that Congress' tally was 27 that time, while it managed to win just 19 seats in the 2020 assembly elections.

RJD inducted three Muslim leaders, Mohammed Shahnawaz Alam, Mohammed Israil Mansoori and Shamim Ahmed, into the cabinet.

Six of the ministers that took oath from RJD hail from Yadav caste including Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav's elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav, who was health minister in the previous Mahagathbandhan government.

The other five leaders are Lalit Yadav, Surendra Yadav, Ramanand Yadav, Jitendra Rai and Anita Devi. The only female minister from RJD is considered to be close to Rabri Devi.

More than half of RJD ministers come from Muslim-Yadav background, demonstrating the party's commitment to its 'MY' voter base.

The other ministers from RJD are Alok Mehta, Kumar Sarvjeet, Chandra Shekhar, Sameer Mahaseth, Sudhakar Singh, Kartik Singh and Surendra Ram, giving representation of one ministerial berth each to Vaishya, Kushwaha, Extremely Backward Class, Paswan, Rajput, Bhumihar and Dalit castes.

Kartik Singh is considered close to RJD strongman Anant Kumar Singh who is a four-time consecutive MLA from Mokama. Kartik was elected to the legislative council for the first time in April.

Manjhi's son Santosh Suman Manjhi is the lone minister from HAM, while Sumeet Kumar Singh is the lone independent minister. Singh was made minister of science and technology in February last year. He comes from an influential family of Jamui district and is son of late Narendra Singh who was a minister in various Bihar governments.

It is expected that the post of the assembly speaker will go to the RJD and the name of Awadh Bihari Chaudhary is doing rounds in political circles. However, no official announcement has been made yet.

Also Read: People Of Bihar, And Nitish Kumar Himself, Are The Losers In State’s Latest Political Drama

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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