With Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar allocating the portfolios in the first cabinet expansion, the introduction of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) Kartikeya Singh as the state law minister has caused a stir as the opposition Singh caught off guard. his involvement in criminal cases.
Notably, RJD leader Kartikeya Singh, now a minister in Bihar’s cabinet, was granted provisional bail by the court on August 12 until September 1, and no coercion was issued against him.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he had no information about the alleged pending arrest warrant.
“I don’t know, I have no information about this,” Nitish Kumar said.
The Bharatiya Janata party mocked the Nitish Kumar-led government of Bihar and said the state law minister should be fired immediately.
“If Kartikeya Singh (RJD) had an order against him, he should have surrendered. But he has been sworn in as justice minister. I ask Nitish, is he trying to bring Bihar back to Lalu’s time? Kartikeya Singh must immediately be fired,” said BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi.
Earlier Tuesday, a total of 31 ministers were inducted into the Bihar cabinet of various parties that are part of the Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance in the state.
The new ministers were given the oath of office and secrecy from the governor of Bihar, Phagu Chauhan, in Raj Bhavan.
While Prime Minister Nitish Kumar held the crucial portfolio of the Interior Ministry, Deputy Prime Minister Tejashwi Yadav took charge of the Health portfolio in the first cabinet expansion of the newly formed government of Mahagathbandhan in Bihar. Janata Dal Union JD(U) leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary was given the finance department and RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav was put in charge of Minister of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change.
Of the 31 ministers sworn into Bihar’s cabinet, 16 were from Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), 11 were from Nitish’s Janta Dal-United (JD-U), two were from Congress and one was from Hindustani Awam Morch (HAM) and one was an independent legislator.
Shortly after the ministers were sworn in, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told reporters that the portfolios will soon be assigned to each minister and that he will hold a meeting on the matter.
Two congressional lawmakers, one of Jitin Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha and the lone independent MLA, Sumit Kumar Singh, were also sworn in as ministers.
From RJD, Deputy Prime Minister Tejashwi Yadav’s brother Tej Pratap Yadav, Samir Kumar Mahaseth, Chandrashekhar, Kumar Sarvajeet, Lalit Yadav, Surendra Prasad Yadav, Ramanand Yadav, Jitendra Kumar Rai, Anita Devi and Sudhakar Singh and Alok Mehta among others.
Congressional lawmakers Afaque Alam and Murari Lal Gautam were inducted as ministers, while Hindustani Awam Morcha’s Santosh Suman was also sworn in.
The Bihar cabinet can have up to 36 ministers, including the prime minister. Some ministerial berths will be kept vacant for future cabinet expansion, sources said.
Nitish Kumar had broken away from the BJP and formed a government earlier this month with the RJD and other parties. The Chief Minister and his deputy – RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav – were sworn in on 10 August.
The Bihar Grand Alliance has a combined strength of 163. The effective strength climbed to 164 after Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh expanded support to Nitish Kumar. The new government is likely to prove its majority in the Bihar assembly on August 24.
The BJP’s central leadership is set to meet here on Tuesday with the leaders of the party’s Bihar unit, days after the JD(U) said goodbye to it and formed a new government in the state.
They are likely to deliberate on the BJP’s future course of action, and the strategy for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, sources said, and adding organizational changes could also be discussed. The meeting will be chaired by BJP National President Jagat Prakash Nadda and General Secretary (Organization) BL Santhosh will also attend.
The 2020 Assembly polls in Bihar were fiercely contested, with the National Democratic Alliance winning 125 seats, including BJP 74, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) 43, Vikassheel Insaan Party 4 and Hindustan Awaam Party (Secular) 4 This placed the NDA just above the 122 majority required to form the government.
By contrast, the RJD and its allies had won 110 seats. The RJD finished as the largest party with 75 seats, while Congress won just 19 seats. Of the 29 seats contested by the left-wing parties, they won 16, of which the CPI (ML-Liberation) won 12. Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM had won five seats in the state’s Seemanchal region. Four of his MLAs have transitioned to the RJD.
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