PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday expanded his cabinet by inducting 17 new ministers keeping the caste equations in balance.
The 17 ministers include 10 from the BJP, six from the JDU, and one Independent candidate who has given support to the JDU. The number of ministers in the Nitish cabinet has now gone up to 30.
Communities except Bhumihar and Yadav got representations in the cabinet expansion.
The most interesting feature of this cabinet expansion was the effort, made by both JDU and BJP, in deciding the faces as ministers keeping social and caste equations in focus.
When the BJP brought in Shahanwaz Hussian, an influential Muslim face through the legislative council and decided to make him a minister, the JD-U acted in the same manner by inducting former BSP leader Zama Khan who had joined the Nitish Kumar's party. Khan was elected from the Chainpur seat in Kaimur on the BSP ticket.
Besides, while JDU made a Dalit face and ex-IPS officer Sunil Kumar a minister, BJP chose former MP and Dalit leader Janak Ram as a minister. Ram is all set to be elected from governor quota to state council as an MLC. Both Janak Ram and Sunil Kumar belong to the Gopalganj district.
From the Kushwaha community, Jyanat Raj of JDU and Samarat Chaudhary of BJP joined the Nitish cabinet minister. Similarly, JDU's Rajput leader Sumit K Singh, and BJP leader from the community Neeraj K Singh were chosen to join the cabinet.
JDU's Sanjay K Jha and BJP's Alok k Jha, both from the Brahmin community, too joined the Cabinet.
Independent candidate Sumit Singh, who has supported the JDU, has also been given a ministerial post.
The 10 newly inducted ministers from the BJP include MLC Shahnawaz Hussain, late actor Sushant Singh Rajput's brother Neeraj Kumar Babloo, Nitin Naveen, Samrat Chaudhary, Subhash Singh, Janak Ram, Alok Ranjan Jha, Narayan Prasad, Pramod Kumar, and Sunil Kumar. From the JDU side, there was Leshi Singh, Sanjay Jha, Madan Sahni, Shrawan Kumar, Jayant Raj, and Jama Khan, who recently joined the JDU quitting the BSP.
CM Nitish Kumar told the media that ministries allotted to new ministers will soon be announced by the evening of Tuesday.