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BJP, JDU share portfolios equally in Bihar


Patna: If portfolios chief minister Nitish Kumar allocated to his ministerial colleagues is any indication, nothing has changed in Janata Dal (United)’s power equation with the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, several ministers have got more than one portfolio, and a clear picture would be available only once the ministry is expanded. Kumar completed portfolio allocation to his 14 ministers who took oath on Monday after the first cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

BJP and JDU have retained the ministries they held earlier. The smooth distribution of portfolios may be an indication that both parties were willing to work cohesively in the new government. Kumar has retained the home ministry along with general administration. Deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad has been given all portfolios his predecessor Sushil Kumar Modi held. He has thus become the second in seniority in the government. Prasad will look after finance, commercial taxes, environment and forest, IT, disaster management and urban development. He took charge of the finance ministry on Tuesday. Renu, Devi, the second deputy chief minister, has been given panchayati raj, industry and OBC and EBC welfare departments.

Vijay Choudhary, the senior most minister from JDU will be in charge of water resources, information and broadcasting, parliamentary affairs, rural development and rural engineering department. The same departments were held by JDU ministers in the previous government. BJP leader Mangal Pandey has been given road transport and art and culture, apart from the health ministry he held in the previous ministry. In the previous government, road construction was with BJP leader Nand Kishor Yadav and art and culture with Pramod Kumar, another BJP leader.

JDU state working president Ashok Choudhary has been given social welfare, science and technology and minority welfare ministries, apart from his building construction portfolio he previously held. HAM leader Santosh Suman has been given minor irrigation and SC/ST welfare ministry while VIP leader Mukesh Sahani has become animal husbandry and fisheries minister in the new cabinet. Tuesday’s cabinet meeting decided to hold a special assembly session from November 23 to November 27, when newly elected MLAs will take oath and the government will prove its majority after the governor’s address. For the swearing in, HAM leader Jitan Ram Manjhi would be protem speaker. He is one of the senior most MLAs

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