The state cabinet can have a maximum of 36 ministers, including the chief minister. With the ministers joining on Tuesday, some berths are expected to remain vacant for future expansion. There has been an in-principle consensus that the RJD, which is the single largest party in the state assembly, will have a major share of the ministerial berth, followed by Kumar’s JD(U). Congress state in-charge Bhakta Charan Das has said that the party is likely to get three ministerial posts, of which two will be filled on Tuesday.
According to Congress sources, who did not wish to be named, Afaq Alam and Murari Gautam have been chosen as part of the party’s strategy of supporting one Muslim and one Dalit. Earlier, apart from Rajesh Ram, the names of AICC secretary and one of the most vocal MLAs Shakeel Ahmed Khan were in the news.
There is little doubt about the inclusion of Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav from the RJD camp. Along the expected lines, the party is expected to allot multiple berths to those from the Yadav caste who form its core base. Others whose names are in the news include national general secretary Alok Mehta and youth MLA Sudhakar Singh, whose father Jagdanand Singh is currently the state president and is respected by Tejashwi Yadav.
The JD(U) is likely to retain most of its ministers in the previous NDA government, including Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Ashok Choudhary, Bijendra Yadav, Shravan Kumar and Leshi Singh. This may leave out some who are considered close to BJP and former JD(U) president RCP Singh, who has been accused of trying to split the party at the behest of the former ally.