Patna, Jan 20 : The expansion of the cabinet in the Nitish Kumar government is expected in a few days.
Sources have said that the BJP has finalised its names and its leaders will hand over the names to CM Nitish Kumar soon. The delay in the expansion of the cabinet is due to changed political equations in Bihar.
Kumar had already said that the expansion of the cabinet will take place soon.
The BJP is the single largest party in the NDA with 74 seats followed by the JDU with 43, VIP 4 and HAM 4. The Bihar legislative assembly has 243 seats and the Nitish Kumar-led NDA has 125 seats. As per the understanding, the parties will claim one post of minister for every 4 MLAs.
The BJP already has 7 ministers in the current Nitish Kumar government including 2 deputy CMs, Tar Kishor Prasad and Renu Devi. The party is entitled to 12 more ministers. The JDU has 5 ministers including CM Nitish Kumar and it will claim 5 more cabinet berths. HAM and VIP already have one minister each in the present government.
The BJP has reportedly given the names of 10 MLAs and MLCs. Some of the names doing the rounds are Shahnawaz Hussain, Nitish Mishra, Sanjay Sarawgi, Pramod Kumar, Krishna Kumar Rishi, Sanjay Singh, Samrat Chaudhary, Ram Pravesh Rai.
The BJP wants equal participation of all castes and communities. Accordingly, these leaders are being reportedly selected by the party.
"The party has brought Shahnawaz Hussain from the Centre to the state after almost two decades in a bid to target the Seemanchal and Bhagalpur areas. Hussain was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bhagalpur and Muslim dominated Kishanganj in the past. He is considered a prominent Muslim face in the region to counter the RJD, Congress and AIMIM," said an official of the BJP Bihar unit.
Samrat Chaudhary is a Dalit leader in the party. He was earlier minister in the Nitish Kumar government.
Nitish Mishra is a prominent Brahmin leader of Darbhanga region. He is a son of former CM Jagannath Mishra, having a good hold in the Jhanjharpur area.
Sanjay Sarawgi is another MLA representing the Darbhanga region. He was earlier critical about the Nitish Kumar government over the deteriorating law and order situation in Bihar.
Sanjeev Chaurasiya, elected from Patna's Digha assembly constituency, is a prominent leader of the business community. According to sources he is reportedly one of the front runners in the race for the cabinet.
Sanjay Singh is a young MLA elected from Vaishali's Lalganj seat.
"Our party is having a futuristic vision to make cadres across all sections. The idea is to strengthen the party more in Bihar and also get stability at the Centre," he said.