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Lalu’s legacy eclipses Nitish’s oath taking ceremony

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New Delhi: Controversy never seems to leave Bihar politics. With the oath taking ceremony of the Nitish Kumar’s cabinet on Saturday raising quite a few eyebrows, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s sons’ swearing in and assuming high-profile posts baffled many.

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While Tej Pratap, RJD Lalu’s elder son, fumbled during the oath, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav was sworn in as the deputy Chief Minister. Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind had to prompt Tej Pratap during the ceremony.

Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, at 26, became the youngest ever deputy chief minister of the country.

The oath taking ceremony also witnessed a plethora of political stalwarts. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and former PM HD Deve Gowda were among the notable guests. However, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav did not attend the ceremony.  The presence of the plethora of ministers did send a strong message to BJP. It is clear that a third-front is brewing up to corner BJP at the Centre.

However, the decision to assign the high-profile post of a deputy chief minister to an inexperienced youth drew flak from various political quarters. And Tej Pratap’s fumbling added to his woes with media channels continuously airing the incident.

Political pundits have already termed that the comeback man Lalu’s ‘beta raj’ is ensuing after the bygone era of ‘Rabri raj’. It is clear that Lalu has started flexing his political prowess in Bihar. The embarrassment during the oath taking ceremony also testifies that Bihar is on the move backward.

The opposition was quick to pounce on the opportunity and launch an outright attack on Nitish Kumar for bowing down before RJD’s supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s demands. Targeting the RJD, they alleged, ‘samajwad’ was replaced by ‘pariwarwad’ by the party.

Lalu’s decision to place the limelight on his sons clearly indicates that he wants the reins of Bihar to be controlled only by him or his family.  However, this might irk a few leaders in RJD who had actively worked for the party to facilitate a comeback for Lalu.

Overlooking the leaders and bestowing sensitive responsibilities on a person devoid of administrative experience will definitely be a point of discussion for the next few days in India’s politics.

(Picture Courtesy : www.orissapost.com)

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Bihar Cabinet Inducts 27 Ministers as New Nitish Government is Formed

Out of the total 27 ministers, 12 are BJP representatives while 14 are from JD(U) itself

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Bihar Cabinet
Nitish Kumar, Bihar Chief Minister. Wikimedia Commons
  • After a big political drama, the new Bihar Cabinet has inducted 27 Ministers
  • Nitish Kumar has now given the BJP highest share of representation in the new government with 12 ministers
  • Sushil Kumar Modi 11from BJP has been chosen by the CM as his deputy

July 30, 2017: Recently, there was a sudden change in Bihar’s political status quo. Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister, dumped his previous allies to form a new government. 27 Ministers have been inducted in the new Bihar Cabinet.

Also Read: Amul Acts Cheeky on Nitish Kumar’s ‘Divorce’ With Lalu Prasad Yadav

Nitish’s party, the JD(U), had previously allied with the Congress Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal. Having dumped them, Nitish and his party have allied with BJP. As a result of the new formation, new representatives have been chosen by the Cabinet. Additionally, the CM has chosen BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi as his deputy.

Out of the total 27 ministers, 12 are BJP representatives while 14 are from JD(U) itself. One member is from the Lok Janshakti Party. The Chief Minister has given the BJP highest ever representation. The total number of ministers from BJP in the 2010 Nitish-BJP coalition was 11. The political situation in Bihar has been turned on its head.

Nitish Kumar has taken up the responsibility for general administration, home, and vigilance departments. His deputy from BJP will be responsible for the forest, finance, IT, and commercial tax. The department of energy, excise and prohibition went to Bijendra Yadav from JD(U).

Also, Kumar’s new cabinet has one woman minister and one minister from the minority community. Both belong to the JD(U). From BJP’s side, EBC and SC communities have been given representation. The BJP ministers were reportedly shortlisted by Deputy Sushil Kumar and Nityanand Rai, the Bihar BJP President. Also involved in the selection were BJP President Amit Shah and the Union Minister Arun Jaitley.

– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Bihar cabinet approves 35 percent reservation for women in state government jobs

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Patna: The Bihar cabinet on Tuesday formally approved 35 percent reservation for women in all government jobs in the state, officials said.

The cabinet meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“Decision was taken of reservation for women in all government jobs including reserved and unreserved category,” an official in the chief minister’s office here said.

During campaigning for the Bihar assembly polls last year, Nitish Kumar, who was chief ministerial candidate of the Grand Alliance of Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress, had promised 35 percent reservation for women in all government jobs if he formed a government again.

Soon after being sworn-in as chief minister in November 2015, Nitish Kumar reiterated his stand to provide 35 percent reservation for women.

He also recalled that the state government is already providing 35 percent reservation for women in recruitment as police constables and sub-inspectors and 50 percent reservation as primary school teachers and in the Panchayati Raj system.

According to socio-political analysts here, a large number of women cutting across caste and religion had voted for Nitish Kumar in the last assembly polls.

In fact women voters outnumbered male voters in the five-phase Bihar assembly polls. They have emerged as a prominent vote bank – more powerful than the youth and caste factor in the state.

Experts said this was a result of several schemes initiated by Nitish Kumar for women’s empowerment including 50 percent posts in Panchayati Raj elections and primary

school teachers’ recruitment for women and 35 percent of all police jobs for women.

The government’s scheme to promote education among girls by providing them free cycles has increased school enrolment in rural areas. (IANS)

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Nitish invites Advani, Shatrughan to oath-taking ceremony

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Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s move to invite veteran BJP leader LK Advani and BJP Lok Sabha member Shatrughan Sinha to his oath-taking ceremony has raised many eyebrows.

Although the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) badly lost the assembly polls to Nitish Kumar’s Grand Alliance, Shatrughan Sinha has repeatedly publicly praised the chief minister. Advani is also said to have a soft corner for Nitish Kumar.

The oath taking ceremony is slated on November 20.

“Advani and Shatrughan Sinha have been invited to the event at Gandhi Maidan. We sent invitations to both of them,” said a Janata Dal-United leader close to Nitish Kumar.

However, no invitation has been sent to any other BJP leader, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.

The event is expected to see a galaxy of top political leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi, Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal, Naveen Patnaik of Odisha and Akhilesh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh.

JD-U leaders say the event — where the star attraction will be RJD chief Lalu Prasad — will mark a new beginning of opposition unity in the country.

Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda is also likely to attend the oath-taking, besides former Jharkhand chief ministers Babulal Marandi and Hemant Soren and INLD leader Abhay Chautala.

Lalu Prasad and JD-U president Sharad Yadav will be the main guests.

According to JD-U leaders, Nitish Kumar will take oath as chief minister along with a 36-member council of ministers on November 20.

The RJD emerged as the single largest party in the 243-seat house with 80 assembly seats followed by the JD-U (71) and the Congress (27 seats).

There will be 16 ministers from the RJD, 15 from the JD-U and five from the Congress in the new government.

Critics opined that the oath ceremony might be the forum where a new ‘third front’ is expected to be incubated.

(With inputs from agencies)