Cabinet reshuffle: Lalu mocks JD(U), says BJP doesn’t care for Nitish’s party
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Cabinet reshuffle: Lalu mocks JD(U), says BJP doesn’t care for Nitish’s party

Lalu Prasad foresees bad days for Nitish Kumar, slams Srijan scandal ‘tainted’ Ashwini Kumar Chaubey finding a place in Team Modi.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2017 14:30 IST
Ruchir Kumar
Ruchir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Cabinet reshuffle,Modi’s council of ministers,RK Singh
RJD chief Lalu Prasad says the JD (U) has no standing in the NDA and Nitish Kumar is staring at trouble. (PTI file photo)

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad mocked former partner the Janata Dal (United) for being left out of Sunday’s reshuffle of the union council of ministers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi promoted four of his colleagues to the cabinet rank and inducted nine new faces as ministers of state in the third rejig of his ministerial team.

“No one bothers with the monkey who strays from the group,” Prasad, who was dumped by the JD (U) in favour of the BJP, tweeted in Hindi an hour after the reshuffle.

Bihar chief minister and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar in July ended his party’s alliance with the RJD and the Congress and went back to the NDA four years after he walked out of the alliance.

Dressed in new kurta-pyjama and bundis (sleeveless jackets), some JD (U) leaders had reached Delhi in the hope of getting a place in Modi’s council but were left high and dry, Prasad said.

The JD(U) didn’t matter in the NDA and the BJP had not even consulted it before the reshuffle, he said, blaming Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

Modi had sent a report to the party brass that the JD(U) was trying to poach Congress MLAs and could again ditch the BJP in Bihar, Prasad said.

The RJD chief criticised ministerial berth for Buxar MP Ashwini Kumar Chaubey, alleging like ministers Giriraj Singh and Bihar deputy chief minister Modi, he, too, was involved in the Rs 1,300 crore Srijan fund transfer scandal and would have to go.

Nitish Kumar was headed for trouble and Sunday was just the beginning, he said, adding Hindustani Awam Morcha leader and former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi should have been considered by Modi.

He, however, was all praise for RK Singh who was named the minister of state for power, new and renewable energy.

Singh, a first-time lawmaker from Ara in Bihar and a former home secretary, was a competent person and should have been made a cabinet minister, the RJD chief said.

The JD(U), which has two Lok Sabha members, lost out because it sought two ministerial berths, sources said. The party described the Sunday’s changes as a BJP reshuffle.

Another NDA ally, the Shiv Sena, which has 18 Lok Sabha MPs, has only one cabinet minister and wanted one more.

The Sena has three members in the Rajya Sabha while the JD(U) has 10.

The two allies were left out because the BJP leadership couldn’t come up with a formula for representation that could satisfy all allies, sources said.

The JD (U) may find a place in Modi’s team later, sources in Delhi said.

First Published: Sep 03, 2017 14:28 IST