Nitish’s JD(U) eyes two berths | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Nitish’s JD(U) eyes two berths in PM Modi’s cabinet reshuffle

Modi set the reshuffle of his council of ministers in motion with the resignation of at least half-a-dozen ministers, according to sources in the ruling BJP and the government.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2017 18:20 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Chief minister Nitish Kumar with other JD(U) leaders at a national executive meeting of the party in Patna. In a dramatic move, Kumar announced his party was breaking away from the grand alliance with the RJD and joining the BJP-led NDA.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar with other JD(U) leaders at a national executive meeting of the party in Patna. In a dramatic move, Kumar announced his party was breaking away from the grand alliance with the RJD and joining the BJP-led NDA.(AP Dube/HT File Photo)

Patna The Janata Dal (United) is counting on being included in the Union cabinet when Prime Minister Narendra Modi reshuffles it on Sunday.

The JD(U) national executive committee meeting held on August 19 endorsed the proposal to join the NDA, an alliance Nitish Kumar walked away from in 2013 but returned dramatically last month, dumping his poll partners Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress to renew an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A top party source said there was “no deal’ as such for a ministerial berth when it joined the NDA and the JD(U) was yet to get a call asking for nominations.

“At the most, we may be asked a name or two,” the source said.

The JD(U) has two members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha and seven in the Rajya Sabha – after two of its MPs Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar decided to toe a different line.

Modi set the reshuffle of his council of ministers in motion with the resignation of at least half-a-dozen ministers, according to sources in the ruling BJP and the government.

Small and medium enterprises minister Kalraj Mishra, water resources and Ganga rejuvenation minister Uma Bharti, skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, minister of state for human resource development Mahendra Nath Pandey and minister of state for water resources Sanjiv Baliyan have quit the government.

Though the party is not enthusiastic over getting a ministerial berth as there are just 18 months left for the next general elections, the name prominently doing the rounds is that of its newly-appointed leader in the Rajya Sabha, Ramchandra Prasad Singh, better known as RCP in political circles.

Sources claimed RCP, a close confidant of Kumar and a second time Rajya Sabha MP, could get an important portfolio in the Union cabinet based on the fact that as the chief minister allotted key ministries to BJP leaders in Bihar, after JD(U) and the saffron party joined hands to form the government late last month.

Another JD(U) ministerial hopeful is said to be Ram Nath Thakur, a Rajya Sabha MP and son of former Bihar CM late Karpoori Thakur. If party sources are to be believed, there is a toss up between Thakur and first time Lok Sabha MP from Purnia Santosh Kumar Kushwaha.

Kushwaha, who was earlier a BJP MLA before joining JD(U) ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls, defeated the sitting BJP MP and also has age on his side.

However, the last call would be taken by Kumar, who is also known for springing surprises.

BLURB

The JD(U) has two members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha and seven in the Rajya Sabha – after two of its MPs, Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar, decided to toe a different line