PATNA: It is now a foregone conclusion that Bihar’s ruling JDU will join the Union Cabinet whenever its expansion is carried out following the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The buzz is that the JD-U, which has 16 MPs, will get berths this time keeping the political equation in the mind for next the 2024 parliamentary elections.
“The JDU, headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, is part of the National Democrcatic Allinace (NDA) both in centre and the state. Thus, it is natural under alliance for the JDU to be in the union cabinet. We are ready for it,” national president of JDU RCP Singh told the media on Monday.
Singh, further, said that it is up to CM Nitish Kumar to decide as whom from the party will join the union cabinet.
“For this, there is no formula to join the Union Cabinet as such,” he categorically stated.
In reply to a specific query of the media, Singh said that the JDU is an ally of NDA in centre and not a trade organisation. “Naturally, what an ally in government deserves to get will naturally come. Our alliance is for development and it will complete its five year-term in Bihar also,” the bureaucrat-turned politician said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will leave for New Delhi on Tuesday amid speculations that he may meet with senior BJP leaders and a formal discussion may take place over the next expansion of cabinet and the proportion of JDU participation in it. But senior JDU leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh denied this speculation and said the chief minister will go to New Delhi on his personal tour for his eye check-up with a doctor.
At the time of government of first cabinet of NDA govt in centre in 2019, the JDU had refused to be in the cabinet saying that the party deserved a ‘proportional participation in the cabinet.’ The JDU was reportedly offered one berth in the cabinet against the demand for three. But, if sources are to be believed, after Bihar assembly elections in which the JDU had suffered political loss slipping to the third spot in terms number of seats won, the bargaining ration in the JDU has been somewhat contained.
According to sources, whenever the cabinet is expanded, one to two ministers would be from the JD-U quota this time-mostly likely RCP Singh and Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh- both are MPs of JDU and considered closest to CM Nitish Kumar.
But RCP Singh and Rajiv Ranjan Singh separately told that it is the prerogative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to decide the time of the cabinet expansion.