Patna, Nov 10: Re-elected chief minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar is set to take oath for his fifth term after Diwali. The Janata Dal (United) leader has to restructure his cabinet since the new regime would have to accommodate alliance partners – Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress. In addition to a fresh cabinet, Nitish would also choose his deputy on recommendations from member parties of Mahagathbandhan.
According to sources, the cabinet seat sharing pact has been finalized. The ratio has been kept at 5:1. For every five elected MLAs, one cabinet ministry will be allotted. Based on the agreement, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD will have a greater say within the cabinet since it has won the most number of assembly segments. (ALSO READ: Bihar elections: Nitish Kumar’s victory reminisces the rise of V P Singh. Will he go down the same path?)
However, Nitish Kumar is likely to allot transport and power portfolio to his close associates from JD(U) since both his erstwhile governments have focused to improve the two sectors drastically. Following the 15 years of rule in Bihar, Nitish came to power in 2005 and within a decade upgraded road connectivity in the state. As such, he could fear losing his USP of being a vikas purush by allowing coalition partners of possibly deteriorating the transport sector through misgovernance.
Similarly, power sector holds special significance for Nitish since he was successful in connecting 80 per cent of rural Bihar during the past decade of his rule. Ahead of the elections, he reiterated in several rallies that complete state will be supplied with power by the end of 2016.
Currently, the deputy chief minister of Bihar has not been finalized. However, it would most probably be from RJD. Lalu Prasad has dismissed the idea of recommending the names of his sons – Tejaswi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav for the prestigious post, calling them ‘rookies’ in politics. But, he could advise Nitish to appoint his eldest daughter Misa Bharati as the deputy CM. Internal sources also indicate the possibility of appointing Abdul Bari Siddiqui as the deputy of Nitish, since he is a veteran leader and an established minority leader.