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IndiaNitish to expand cabinet soon, hectic lobbying for Speaker’s post

Nitish to expand cabinet soon, hectic lobbying for Speaker’s post



A day after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar formed the government in Bihar in alliance with the Democratic Alliance, hectic lobbying started for the post of assembly speaker, and other legislators to be included in the council of ministers. Kumar on Monday chaired the meeting of his new cabinet to distribute portfolios. After the cabinet meeting, leaders of NDA constituents, however, remained tight-lipped about the distribution of portfolios.

According to sources, the cabinet secretariat is expected to issue a notification pertaining to portfolio distribution by Monday evening.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party has submitted a notice of no-confidence motion to the assembly secretary against Speaker Awadh Bihari Chaudhary, who represents the Rashtriya Janata Dal. BJP leaders, in the notice, expressed a lack of confidence in the present Speaker as a new government has assumed power. The motion was signed by legislators of the BJP as well as the Janata Dal-United.

The cabinet meeting chaired by Nitish Kumar was attended by all the eight ministers who took oath on Sunday. Besides Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Ministers Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Kumar Sinha, BJP's Prem Kumar, JD-U leaders Shravan Kumar, Vijendra Yadav, and Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Hindustan Awam Morcha's Santosh Kumar Suman and Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh were sworn in as ministers on Sunday.

After taking the oath as the chief minister of Bihar for the record ninth time, Kumar asserted there is no question of now leaving the NDA. “I was with them (NDA) earlier, too. We went on different paths, but now we are together and will remain so. I came back to where I was (NDA), and now there is no question of going anywhere else,” the 72-year-old politician said. It has been learnt from reliable sources that the BJP is expected to keep the post of the assembly speaker.

Names doing the rounds for the post of speaker include those of senior BJP leaders Nand Kishore Yadav and Amrendra Pratap Singh. BJP leaders on Monday indicated that the cabinet will be further expanded in a day or two to accommodate legislators belonging to other castes, minority groups and women. Those expected to be included in the Nitish Kumar cabinet include BJP leaders Shahnawaz Hussain, Nitin Nabin, Rampreet Paswan, Janak Ram, Shreyashi Singh and JD-U leaders Sunil Kumar Singh, Madan Sahni, Lesi Singh, Sheila Mandal, Jayant Raj, Ashok Choudhary and Sanjay Jha, a JD-U leader said on condition of anonymity.




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