'Mahagathbandhan 2.0' cabinet: RJD gets 16 posts, JD(U) takes 11
A week after churning up a political storm in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expanded his cabinet to induct 31 new ministers on Tuesday. As expected, the highest number of berths were allotted to the Janata Dal (United)'s coalition partner, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Bihar Assembly's biggest party. The new "Mahagathbandhan 2.0" cabinet will be headed by Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav.
- Last week, Kumar broke away from alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after being at loggerheads in the recent past over numerous issues and formed a coalition government with the RJD and five other parties.
- He and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav took their oaths of office on August 10.
- To recall, Kumar abandoned the "Mahagathbandhan" government to join hands with the BJP in 2017.
A total of 31 MLAs from different "Mahagathbandhan" parties took oath in the new cabinet on Tuesday. The RJD got 16 ministerial berths and the JD(U) took 11 posts, while Congress got two. Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) MLA Santosh Suman Manjhi was also sworn in, along with Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh. According to NDTV, some berths have been kept vacant for future ministers.
Sixteen RJD MLAs took oath at the Raj Bhavan in Patna on Tuesday, including Tej Pratap Yadav, Kumar Sarvjeet, Surendra Yadav, Anita Devi, and Surendra Ram, among others. Yadav's brother Tej Pratap had served as the Health Minister in the previous Mahagathbandhan government (2015-17). The JD(U) retained most of its ministers, including Bijendra Yadav, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Leshi Singh, and Sanjay Jha, among others.
From the Congress, MLAs Afaque Alam and Murari Lal Gautam were inducted into the new Bihar cabinet. As for the HAM, Jitan Ram Manjhi's son Santosh was sworn in. While the Bihar cabinet can have up to 36 ministers, the new cabinet has 33, including the CM and deputy CM. Portfolios will be allotted after a detailed cabinet meeting, CM Kumar told the media.
The new "Mahagathbandhan 2.0" cabinet has 164 MLAs and seven parties. CM Kumar will most likely undergo a floor test in the Bihar Assembly next week, and the new government will have to prove its majority. Kumar and Yadav took their respective oaths as the CM and deputy CM of Bihar on August 10 and will be heading the new government.