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Cabinet expansion to be decided Grand alliance partners: Manjhi

india Updated: Sep 09, 2014 20:10 IST
HT Correspondent
Jitan Ram Manjhi

Chief minister, Jitan Ram Manjhi ruled out a cabinet expansion sooner, saying that this is an issue, which will exercise the collective mind of the Grand Alliance partner.

Replying to media queries on Tuesday, over possible expansion in the backdrop of talks of putting up a joint governance system in place, Manjhi said, "It's not on me to take the call".

He said, "The JD-U national president, Sharad Yadav, former chief minister and party mentor Nitish Kumar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi are the one's empowered to take such a call".

He added: "Whatever they decide collectively will be carried out".

There have been speculations within the JD-U and the RJD of an imminent expansion of cabinet and co-option of ministers from the RJD and the Congress in the backdrop of the Grand Alliance, winning six of the 10 assembly by poll seats.

Chief minister, Manjhi has himself said, that he is no averse to the idea and such a move would only help consolidate the gains of the bypolls and bring out a convergence of anti-BJP groups and make them close ranks further to take on the NDA in 2015 on a much firmer political grounds.

Late last week, there were talks within the Grand Alliance camp of former chief minister broaching the idea with RJD chief Lalu Prasad in Mumbai, where the latter is recuperating after a heart surgery. Sources within the RJD said, "Talks in this direction is expected to progress when Prasad returns to the capital in another week's time".

While the state Congress leaders have suggested that the talks, if any, had not included them at present, within the RJD, there is quite optimism that one of its leaders could be the deputy chief minister in the amalgamated governance structure with upto three joining as ministers in the Manjhi cabinet.