Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday allocated portfolios to the newly-elected members of his cabinet. Kumar retained the key portfolio of home department. His other portfolios include general administration, cabinet secretariat, election and other departments that have been not been allocated to anyone.
Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad will handle finance, commercial tax, environment, forestry and climate change and information technology. These departments were earlier handled by former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi. Prasad will also hold disaster management and urban development portfolios, according to PTI.
Renu Devi, who is also a deputy chief minister, will handle panchayati raj, other backward classes, extremely backward classes and industries portfolios.
Senior BJP leader and former health minister Mangal Pandey has retained the portfolio. He will also handle art, culture and youth affairs and road construction departments.
Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, speaker of the Assembly in the previous Nitish Kumar government, will be in charge of rural works, parliamentary affairs, rural development, water resources and information and public relations departments.
Janata Dal (United) leader Bijendra Prasad Yadav has retained power, prohibition and excise, besides getting planning and development, and food and consumer protection portfolios. JD(U) state working president Ashok Choudhary has also retained the building construction portfolio. He will also handle science and technology, social welfare and minority affairs departments.
Mewa Lal Chaudhary, a multiple-term JD(U) MLA who was sworn in for the first time into the Cabinet, will be in charge of the education department. Sheela Kumar, who was inducted upon her electoral debut, will handle transport.
Hindustani Awam Morcha leader Santosh Kumar Suman, who is the son of former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, will take over the minor water resources and the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes department.
Vikassheel Insaan Party founder Mukesh Sahani will be in charge of animal and fisheries resources.
BJP leader Amrendra Pratap Singh will handle agriculture, cooperatives and sugarcane industry. Rampreet Paswan will hold the public health engineering department, while Ram Surat Kumar Rai will be in charge of revenue, land reforms and law. Jivesh Kumar will take over labour, tourism and mines departments.
Nand Kishore Yadav, the previous road construction department minister, was not made a minister this time. Yadav, a BJP leader, is expected to be made the Speaker during the Assembly session next week.
Nitish Kumar along with a 14-member council of ministers was sworn in by Governor Phagu Chauhan on Monday. Renu Kumari and Prasad took oath as the deputy chief ministers.
The National Democratic Alliance returned to power in Bihar with a slender majority. The coalition won 125 seats in the 243-member State Assembly. The Opposition Grand Alliance bagged 110. The Rashtriya Janata Dal, led by 31-year-old Tejashwi Yadav, emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats.
Quite significantly, the JD(U) has, for the first time in Bihar, won fewer seats than the BJP, pulling in just 43 to the BJP’s 74. This is reflected in the composition of the state cabinet. The BJP bagged seven berths, while five ministers are from the JD(U). One each is from two smaller allies – the Hindustani Awam Morcha and the Vikassheel Insaan Party.