Bihar Chief Minister Nitesh Kumar expanded his Cabinet on Tuesday as Governor Phagu Chouhan administered the oath of office to the new ministers at a function at the Raj Bhawan. It must be noted that this expansion comes ahead of the Budget session. Among the 17 new ministers inducted, BJP bags 9 berths while the JD(U) settles for 8 berths. Now the total number of ministers in the state Cabinet comes to 30.
The portfolios that remain with JD(U)
CM Nitish Kumar has clearly gone for the quality rather than quantity of berths while allotting them between JD(U) and BJP. Important portfolios like Home, Personnel, Education, Rural Development, Rural Works, Water Resources remain with the JD(U).
The first to take the oath was the former Union Minister and national spokesperson of BJP Shahnawaz Hussain, who gets the berth of Industry. JD(U)'s Shravan Kumar gets Rural Development, followed by Madan Sahni who is allotted Social Welfare. Jama Khan, who is the lone Muslim face of JD(U) bags Minority Welfare.
Apart from this, independent candidate Sumit Singh gets the portfolio of Science and Technology. Also, from the party the first time MLA's Sunil Kumar has been assigned the portfolio of Prohibition, Production and Registration while Jayant Raj has been given Rural Works.
Ministers and their berths
Moving on, Arts, Culture and Youth has been assigned to Alok Ranjan Jha while Narayan Prasad gets the portfolio of Tourism. The charge of Food and Consumer Protection Department has been given to Leshi Singh and the charge of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has been assigned to Neeraj Kumar Singh 'Bablu.' Bablu is late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's brother who contested from Chhatarpur constituency on a BJP ticket.
Nitin Navin, who won the Bihar election from Bankipur seat last year, has been trusted with Road Construction Department and Samrat Chaudhary with Panchayati Raj (local bodies). Apart from this, Mines and Mineral Resources Department is with Janak Ram and The Cooperatives Department with Subhash Singh. Sanjay Kumar Jha has bagged Water Resources, Information and Public Relations.
The portfolios that BJP bags
BJP gets a total of nine berths as compared to the total of 8 berths that JD(U) settles with. When compared to the last cabinet, BJP retains two ministers, Mangal Pandey and Pramod Kumar who got Sugarcane Industry, Law.