JD(U) likely to get 2 cabinet, 1 minister of state berths in Union cabinet - Hindustan Times
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JD(U) likely to get 2 cabinet, 1 minister of state berths in Union cabinet

Jun 09, 2024 02:41 AM IST

JD(U)’s Munger MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh and Rajya Sabha MP Ramnath Thakur are among the top probables for the cabinet berths

With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government headed by Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi all set to be formed on Sunday, speculation is rife that its key ally, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which has won 12 members of Parliament (MPs), is likely to get at least two cabinet and one minister of state (MoS) rank berths.

Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi during the NDA parliamentary party meeting in Delhi on Friday. (PTI)
Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi during the NDA parliamentary party meeting in Delhi on Friday. (PTI)

JD(U)’s Munger MP, Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, a close confidant of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Rajya Sabha MP Ramnath Thakur, an extremely backward classes (EBCs) leader, are among the top probables for the cabinet berths.

“I have no information of getting a ministerial berth in the Union cabinet. I have always worked as per the direction of our leader CM Kumar,” said Thakur, when asked about his chances of becoming a Union minister on Saturday in New Delhi.

Read more: ‘Angoor khatte hain’, says JD(U) MP as Cong continues to attack PM-elect Modi

Thakur is the son of former chief minister Karpoori Thakur, who was conferred Bharat Ratna posthumously a few months ago.

The name of another close confidant of Nitish Kumar, Sanjay Jha and Sunil Kumar, newly elected MP from Valimiki Nagar, are also among the probable names for cabinet berth from the JD(U) quota, people familiar with the matter said.

Lok Jan Shakti-Ram Vilas (LJP-RV) led by Chiraj Paswan, who has five MPs, is likely to get one ministerial berth with junior Paswan himself likely to become a cabinet minister. There is also speculation that the party is eyeing for a MOS berth.

Hindustan Awami Morcha (secular) chief and Gaya MP, Jitan Ram Manjhi could also get a ministerial berth.

There is a buzz in political circles that the BJP and its allies in NDA has worked a formula under which a party will be given one cabinet birth for every 5 MPs and a MoS position for every 2 MPs. That way, JD-U would be given two cabinet berths and for an extra 2 seats, one minister of state post will be given.

“The JD(U) is likely to strike a caste balance in choosing its nominees for ministerial berths by giving proper represetation to upper castes, EBCs and OBCs,” said a senior party leader, wishing not to be quoted.

On Saturday, social welfare minister and senior JD(U) leader Madan Sahani said the party was eying portfolios like railways and agriculture. “We are hopeful of getting three to four ministerial berths,” Sahani told reporters in Patna.

There is a strong buzz that JD(U) might get the agriculture ministry. Party insiders said hectic parleys have been held between JD(U) and BJP leaders on allotment of portfolios with the JD(U) showing keenness on portfolios related to infrastructure development, agriculture, rural development and railways.

From the state BJP, which has won 12 MPs from Bihar, there are several names doing the rounds. Insiders said there are chances that the BJP may induct new faces from Bihar in the Union cabinet and retain only one or two old faces. There are possibilities the BJP would make three ministers from Bihar.

Giriraj Singh, who again got elected from Begusarari, Nityanand Rai, who won again from Ujiarpur and served as minister in the second Modi cabinet, are among the top names as contenders for a ministerial berth even as there is also speculation that the party could induct new faces.

Some of the names doing the rounds include Pradeep Kumar Singh, MP from Araria, former state BJP chief and MP from West Champaran Sanjay Jaiswal, Vivek Thakur, first time MP from Nawada and East Champaran MP and former minister, Radha Mohan Singh.

“It is, however, certain that many of the BJP ministers will be dropped and some new faces may find a place this time due to the present arithmetic,” said a senior BJP leader.

Incidentally, there is a buzz in the political circles in Bihar that Shambhavi Choudhary, first time MP from Samastipur and daughter of state minister Ashok Choudhary, is also in the race for a ministerial berth in the rank of MoS from her party LJP(RV) led by junior Paswan. It is only possible if LJP(RV) gets two berths in the Union cabinet.

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