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Eye on caste & regional balance as RJD may get up to 18 berths, JD(U) 13-14

The Times of India logo The Times of India 11-08-2022 Sheezan Nezami
© Provided by The Times of India

NEW DELHI: RJD patriarch Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav is tipped to join his sibling Tejashwi Yadav in the new Bihar ministry that will have 16 to 18 faces from the party, sources said on Thursday after CM Nitish Kumar announced he would form the cabinet after August 15.

Tejashwi, who returns as Nitish’s deputy, left for Delhi to seek his father’s counsel on RJD’s return to government even as ministerial aspirants from ally Congress made a beeline for the national capital to try and lobby for berths.

Sources said Nitish’s JD(U) might have to settle for 13 to 14 berths, while Congress would get three to four and HAM (S) one. “The numbers might change if CPI(ML) agrees to join the ministry,” said a senior RJD functionary.

READ ALSO: Bihar: CM Nitish Kumar rejects Sushil Modi's claim that JD(U) parted ways with BJP because he was not made vice president of India

CPI(ML) has convened a meeting of its state committee on Saturday to take a call on joining the government.

Besides Tej Pratap, those talked about as certainties in the ministry from the RJD camp include Alok Mehta, Anita Devi, Shahnawaz Alam, Lalit Yadav, Madhepura MLA Chandra Shekhar, Kumar Sarvajeet from Bodh Gaya and Anil Sahni.

READ ALSO: Tejashwi: RJD-JD(U) alliance a prelude to 2024 opposition unity

“Both caste and regional balance will be considered,” said the RJD member.

Within Congress, three upper-caste candidates are said to be in the race — state party president Madan Mohan Jha, CLP leader Ajeet Sharma and Vijay Shankar Dubey.

READ ALSO: Tejashwi Yadav likely to join ministry; Congress netas make a beeline for Delhi

Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha said he had approved the request for a special assembly session from August 24, during which Nitish would seek a trust vote. The grand alliance has 164 MLAs from seven parties in a House with an effective strength of 242.

On the show of no-confidence against him by more than 55 MLAs of the grand alliance, Sinha said he would not like to comment on that as long as he was holding a constitutional post. "I will speak in detail once I quit this position."

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