Nitish set to expand Cabinet with 17 likely inductees

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is set to expand his Cabinet on Tuesday afternoon as 17 new inductees are likely to take oath — nine from the BJP and eight from Janata Dal-United.

It will be the first Cabinet expansion after Nitish became the Chief Minister for another term in November 2020.

Bihar Governor Fagu Chauhan will administer the oath to the new Ministers at 12.30 pm here.

Allies BJP and JD-U were earlier stuck on Cabinet expansion for a long time, but finally came to an agreement on Monday evening. BJP sources said that the party wanted to give opportunity to the youth whereas the JD-U was likely to give preference to both experienced and young persons.

Recently elected Legislative Council member Shahnawaz Hussain, Samrat Chaudhary, Subhash Singh, Alok Ranjan, Pramod Kumar, Janaram, Narayan Prasad, Nitin Naveen, and Neeraj Singh Bagu are front runners for ministerial berths from the BJP quota.

Former Minister Shravan Kumar can once again be made a Minister by the JD-U, apart from Lacey Singh, Sanjay Jha, and Madan Sahni. Former Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Jama Khan, Independent Sumit Kumar Singh, Jayant Raj and Sunil Kumar are also likely inductees.

Nitish Kumar took oath as Chief Minister on November 16 last year along with 14 Ministers. Then Education Minister Mewalal Chaudhary resigned three days later due to controversy over alleged irregularities in appointments during his tenure as Vice Chancellor of Bihar Agriculture University.

Ever since, there was speculation about the Cabinet expansion even as the BJP and JD-U were involved in a tug of war over the issue.