By Manoj Pathak
Patna, Feb 9 : Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal United (JDU) have set the caste equations right in Bihar, as Nitish Kumar expanded his cabinet on Tuesday after he became the Chief Minister again in November last year. Seventeen legislators were sworn in as Ministers by Governor Fagu Chauhan.
The 17 ministers include 10 from the BJP, six from the JDU and one Independent candidate who has given support to the JDU.
Both the BJP and the JDU have tried to appease the minorities by inducting Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and Jaman Khan into the cabinet, even as the BJP banked on “Kayastha” votes by including Nitin Naveen as one of the Ministers.
Interestingly, the cabinet expansion also saw the inclusion of four Ministers from the Rajput community. Both the JDU and the BJP exuded confidence after the induction of leaders from the ‘upper caste’.
While the BJP has included Neeraj Kumar Babloo and Subhash Singh, the JDU inducted Leshi Singh and Independent candidate Sumit Singh as Ministers.
Both the parties have appointed one leader each from the ‘Brahmin caste’. While the BJP has inducted Alok Ranjan Jha, the JDU has reposed faith in Sanjay Kumar Jha.
Banking on the ‘Vaishya’ vote bank, Pramod Kumar and Narayan Prasad from the BJP were also administered the oath.
The JDU has reposed faith in the Koeri and Kurmi votebanks as they have appointed Nitish Kumar’s confidant Shravan Kumar from Kurmi and Jayant Raj from Kushwaha castes, while Madan Sahni, who comes from the Mallah community, has also been inducted as a Minister.
The BJP has included former MP from the Dalit community Janak Ram in the cabinet, while the JDU has also played the ‘Dalit card’ for the ministerial berths.
Through the expansion of the cabinet, both the parties have tried to appease their vote banks in their own way, as well as to try new political equations.
BJP MLA Gyanendra Singh Gyanu said that no experienced leaders have been included in the cabinet and an attempt has been made to reconcile the Nahe region.