Express News Service
PATNA: The ruling Janata Dal-United in Bihar is confident that the proposed Union Cabinet expansion will accommodate leaders from the National Democratic Alliance partner, a senior party leader said.The Nitish Kumar-led party has 16 members in the Lok Sabha. “The JD-U is the part of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) both in Centre and the State. Thus, it is natural for the JD-U to be in the Union Cabinet. We are ready for it,” JD-U national president RCP Singh said on Monday.
Singh added that it is up to Nitish Kumar to decide as to who will get the berth from the JD-U quota. “For this, there is no such so-called formula to join the Union Cabinet,” he stated categorically.The bureaucrat-turned politician asserted that the JD-U is an ally of the NDA and not a trade organisation. “Naturally, what an ally in government deserves to get will naturally come. There is an alliance for development and it will complete its five year-term in Bihar also.”
Meanwhile, Nitish will leave for Delhi on Tuesday amid speculations that he may meet with senior BJP leaders and that a formal discussion may take over the next Cabinet expansion. At the time of government of first cabinet of NDA government, the JD-U had refused to be in the cabinet saying that the party deserved a ‘proportional participation in the cabinet. At that time of cabinet formation, JDU was reportedly offered one berth in the cabinet against the demand for three.
Cut back to 2021, after the last Bihar elections in which the JD-U slipped to third position, its bargaining power has been somewhat contained.On being asked about the number of berths from JD-U quota, RCP Singh said it would not be right to say anything about the number of seats but it is sure that JD-U will be in the Union Cabinet.
Two names doing rounds
If sources are to be believed, one-two ministers in the new Modi ministry after reshuffle will be from the Janata Dal-United. The names doing the rounds are RCP Singh and Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh — both are considered close to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.