Bihar Cabinet Expansion Tomorrow; RJD Likely to Get Bigger Slice of Ministerial Pie

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will expand his Cabinet on Tuesday, nearly a week after he ditched the BJP-led alliance and formed “Mahagathbandhan” government with the support of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress.

The oath taking ceremony of new ministers will take place at 11:30 am in Raj Bhavan in Patna tomorrow. Nitish Kumar took oath as chief minister of Bihar for the eighth time on June 10 and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav as his deputy.

The RJD, which is the single largest party in Bihar with 79 seats, will have 16 Cabinet berths and 11 will go in Janata Dal United’s account, NDTV reported citing sources.

It would be interesting to watch which party will get the plum portfolios like home, finance, taxes and Road construction.

A series of meetings were held among the Mahagathbandhan partners before the cabinet expansion. AICC Bihar in-charge Bhakta Charan Das held discussions with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on Friday while Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. The Bihar cabinet can have a maximum of 36 ministers.

Das had earlier said it would be “respectable” and according to the party’s strength in the House, news agency PTI reported.

The Ebbing Phenomenon Called Nitish Kumar

The special session of Bihar Legislative Assembly will be held on August 24 and 25. The Nitish Kumar government will face a floor test to prove majority in the Bihar Legislative Assembly on August 24. After the death of an RJD MLA, the strength of the Assembly reduced to 242. The magic number in the Bihar Assembly is 122. At present, this is how the parties rank: RJD (79), BJP (77), JD(U) (45), Congress (19), CPI(M-L) (12), CPI (4), Hindustani Awam Morcha (S) (4), AIMIM (1), Independent (1).

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