No cabinet expansion in near future, Congress demand not under consideration: Bihar deputy CM  

Tejashwi's remark on the cabinet expansion has come in the backdrop of speculation over the cabinet expansion with Congress getting two ministerial berths.

Published: 03rd February 2023 07:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2023 07:04 PM   |  A+A-

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

PATNA: Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav has ruled out the possibility of cabinet expansion, thus dashing hopes of Congress getting more ministerial berths in the state cabinet.

“Do you want cabinet expansion? If so we will consider it," the RJD leader shot back when media persons asked him about it at a function on Thursday.

Tejashwi further said, “There will be no cabinet expansion now. I do not understand at first how the discussion on it started. No proposal for the cabinet expansion is not under consideration.”

Tejashwi's remark on the cabinet expansion has come in the backdrop of speculation over the cabinet expansion with Congress getting two ministerial berths. At present Congress has two ministers in the grand alliance government.

Newly appointed Bihar Congress president Akhilesh Prasad Singh recently said that he had a meeting with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who assured him of inducting two Congress leaders into the union cabinet. Tejaswhi's point-blank refusal of the cabinet expansion is likely to be taken by Bihar Congress leaders with a pinch of salt.

Even when senior RJD leader and state education minister Prof Chandrashekhar had made controversial remarks against the religious epic, Ramcharitmanas. Congress had made it clear that any remark against Ramcharitmanas was unacceptable. It is another matter Nitish's JD (U) had also opposed Prof Chandrashekhar's unsavoury remarks against Ramcharitmanas.

When the grand alliance government was formed in the state in last August, two Congress leaders were inducted into the state cabinet. While Mohammed Afaque Alam was made cabinet minister, Murari Gautam was made the minister of state. Nitish had also said that the cabinet would be expanded after ‘Kharmas’ (considered an inauspicious period in the Hindu calendar) that ended on January 14. In addition to Congress, two leaders from RJD can also be inducted into the state cabinet.

The grand alliance in Bihar is facing turmoil from within as JD (U) parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha has raised a banner against Nitish by accusing him of not giving him proper respect in the party even as he had merged his own political outfit, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) with JD (U). The controversy that erupted over the remarks against Ramcharitmanas has also yet to be settled.

On the other hand, RJD has yet to take action against former agriculture minister Sudhakar Singh for making uncharitable remarks against Nitish although a show cause notice was issued to the minister. Singh, who is the son of state RJD president Jagdanand Singh has already replied to the notice but it has to be seen how the party leadership acts on it. He alleged that he was targeted because he belonged to an Upper caste. In the given situation, cabinet expansion is looking like a remote possibility, remarked political analyst Pramod Kumar.


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