Patna, November 17
Portfolios were allocated among members of the Nitish Kumar cabinet in Bihar on Tuesday with the chief minister retaining key departments like home which he had held in the previous government.
Other portfolios remaining with the chief minister are general administration, cabinet secretariat and election besides “any other department not allocated among other members of the council of ministers”, according to a notification issued by Raj Bhavan.
Deputy Chief Minister Tar Kishore Prasad was given finance, commercial tax, environment, forestry and climate change and information technology, all of which were previously held by his predecessor Sushil Kumar Modi.
In addition, Prasad will be holding disaster management and urban development portfolios.
Renu Devi, the second deputy CM, will be handling panchayati raj, other backward classes, extremely backward classes and industries.
Both the Deputy CMs, like Sushil Kumar Modi, belong to the BJP which has returned with a greater tally in the assembly elections than Kumar’s JD(U) and the same reflects in the composition of the new cabinet.
A 14-member council of ministers was sworn in here by Governor Phagu Chauhan on Monday and the BJP bagged seven berths. Five ministers were from the JD(U) while one each was from two smaller allies – the Hindustani Awam Morcha and the Vikassheel Insaan Party.
Mangal Pandey, a senior BJP leader who was the health minister in the previous government, has retained the key portfolio. Besides, he was given the charge of art, culture and youth affairs and road construction departments.
The previous road construction department minister Nand Kishore Yadav, another BJP veteran who was not a made a minister this time, is expected to be made the Speaker during the assembly session next week.
Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, a JD(U) leader who was the Speaker in the previous assembly, has been given parliamentary affairs, rural works, rural development, water resources and information and public relations department.
Ashok Choudhary, the JD(U)s state working president, has retained building construction besides getting science and technology, social welfare and minorities affairs.
Bijendra Prasad Yadav, a former state unit chief of the JD(U), has retained power, prohibition and excise besides getting planning and development, and food and consumer protection.
Mewa Lal Chaudhary, a multiple-term JD(U) MLA who has been inducted into the ministry for the first time, has got education, while Sheela Kumar who has been sworn in upon her electoral debut has been given transport.
Other BJP ministers are Amarendra Pratap Singh (agriculture, cooperatives and sugarcane industry), Rampreet Paswan (public health engineering), Jibesh Kumar (labour, tourism and mines) and Ram Surat Kumar Rai (revenue, land reforms and law).
Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) founding president Mukesh Sahni has been given animal husbandry and fisheries.
Santosh Kumar Suman, whose father Jitan Ram Manjhi, a former chief minister who heads the Hindustani Awam Morcha, has been given minor water resources and Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Welfare. — PTI
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