In 'tit-for-tat' to BJP, Nitish makes eight JDU members Bihar ministers

Ashok Choudhary, a veteran Dalit leader from the state, and Sanjay Jha are among those to get ministerial berths in the state Cabinet.

Published: 02nd June 2019 11:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2019 02:47 PM   |  A+A-

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar along with deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi during the swearing-in ceremony for the cabinet expansion of coalition government of NDA in Patna Sunday June 2 2019. | PTI

Express News Service

PATNA: The rivalry in Bihar's ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) took an interesting but internecine turn after the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) inducted eight new faces from their party as ministers.

Bihar governor Lalji Tandon administered the oaths to all the eight new ministers.

Though Cabinet expansion was attended by the senior BJP leader and Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, who sat beside Nitish in the front row, annoyances were clearly visible on the faces of both the leaders throughout the swearing-in ceremony.

Those, who have been inducted in the state Cabinet as ministers are Narendra Narayan Yadav, Ashok Kumar Chaudhary, Bima Bharti, Shayam Rajak, Sanjay Jha, Neeraj Kumar, Ram Sevak Singh and Lakshmeshar Rai.

Among them, Sanjay Jha, Neeraj Kumar and Ashok K Chaudhary are party’s MLCs while rest are MLAs from different assembly constituencies including Bima Bharti from Rupauli in Purnia and Ram Sevak Singh from Hathua assembly seat.

Meanwhile, Sushil Modi tweeted that although an offer was made to BJP Nitish to fill the vacant ministerial seat, the saffron party kept the matter pending for future. 

He also said that the NDA is united in the state.

Meanwhile, JD (U) national spokesperson KC Tyagi denied any differences in the NDA.

He said: “It is prerogative of CM to whosoever he wants to induct in Cabinet”.

"Vacancies of JD(U) quota in Cabinet were lying unfilled so the party filled it. Other vacancies of ally quota will be filled ahead," Nitish said during the ceremony.

Now in Bihar assembly, the total number of ministers has gone up to 33 out of total sanctioned strength of 36 with 3 ministerial berths reaming vacant.

The NDA had outperformed the Opposition Grand Alliance in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.

Three important state ministries were among those that have remained vacant.

ALSO READ | BJP MP Gopal Narayan Singh terms Nitish Kumar 'selfish' for JD(U) opting out of Cabinet

Local political analysts said that with no BJP and LJP faces accommodated in the Cabinet expansion, there is bound to be internal strife within the NDA.

Nitish, after returning from attending the swearing-in ceremony of PM Modi, had categorically expressed his annoyance and said JD(U) will not become a part of the union government in the near future.

In Bihar, JD (U) is leading the state government in alliance with BJP and LJP after it broke away from the Opposition Grand Alliance in 2017.

ALSO READ | Allies should have proportional representation in cabinet: Nitish Kumar

“Both BJP and JD(U) appear to be fighting a war of electoral supremacy after Lok Sabha and it will boomerang in favour of Mahagavandhan”, said sources from the two parties, preferring anonymity.

JD(U) opted to stay out of the Modi Cabinet after being offered only one berth.

Nitish had earlier demanded 'proportional participation' in the Modi Cabinet, based on the number of seats won in the Lok Sabha election.

"The differences between the NDA are growing by the day after the BJP allegedly humiliated the JD(U). And denial of any berths to both BJP and LJP on the part of JD(U) will weaken the NDA", said many political analysts.

ALSO READ | In a first, Lalu's RJD invites BJP leaders for Iftar party on June 2 at Rabri Devi's residence

Meanwhile, BJP senior leader Mangal Pandey told the media that the saffron party would welcome the new ministers without an iota of political grudge and grievances.

"The NDA is united and Opposition must not be worried over our unity", he said. JD(U)'s Neeraj Kumar also rapped the Mahagathbandhan leaders for not being elated as NDA has no differences.

In Opposition Grand Alliance too, Congress is distancing itself slowly and steadily after a disastrous Lok Sabha poll performance in Bihar.

With JD(U) also engaging in a battle of supremacy within NDA, chances of Nitish forming another front with Congress ahead of next year's crucial state Assembly elections cannot be ruled out.

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  • BSK

    Is it "tit for tat" or to stop "poaching" by partner ?
    4 months ago reply
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