Prasad, Paswan sworn in as Bihar bags 5 seats in Modi Cabinet
Bihar has received a bounty of five ministers in the just sworn-in Narendra Modi Cabinet as against the duck the state had ended up with in UPA-II.
New Delhi: Bihar has received a bounty of five ministers in the just sworn-in Narendra Modi Cabinet as against the duck the state had ended up with in UPA-II.
With three Cabinet berths, one Minister of State (MoS) Independent-charge and one MoS appointment in its kitty, the spotlight is back on the state where Assembly elections are due next year.
BJP, which had won 12 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar in 2009 after partnering with Nitish Kumar`s JD(U), increased its tally in the state to 22 this time.
Its alliance for the 2014 general elections was with the Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP, which bagged six seats, and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, which won three.
Nitish Kumar, Modi`s arch-rival who had served as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the last nine years, stepped down from his post following the crushing defeat for JD(U) at the hands of the BJP-led NDA, which walked away with 31 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
JD(U), which had won 20 seats in the 2009 elections, was reduced to a mere two MPs this time while the former chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD won four seats. Congress bagged two seats and NCP had to be content with one.
Kumar had walked out of NDA and ended JD(U)`s 17-year-old relationship with BJP in June last year in protest against the elevation of Modi as BJP`s prime ministerial candidate.
Jitan Ram Manjhi, who succeeded Kumar in the Bihar chief minister`s chair, attended today`s swearing in in Delhi.
While BJP is hoping to repeat its Lok Sabha showing in the Assembly elections next year, there are already indications of a realignment in the non-NDA camp there after Kumar`s arch- rival in state politics, RJD, extended support to the Manjhi government in the trust vote.
Now, the good representation given to Bihar is likely to add teeth to the NDA`s strength in Bihar.
The leaders from the state who were sworn in as part of Modi`s Cabinet are Ravishankar Prasad, Radha Mohan Singh and LJP chief Paswan (all three as Cabinet Ministers), Dharmendra Pradhan (BJP) as MoS-Independent charge, and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party chief Upendra Kushwaha as Minister of State.
A five-term MP Radha Mohan Singh was president of BJP`s Bihar unit between 2006 and 2009. He had served in the erstwhile Jana Sangh.
Ravishankar Prasad was Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting in the previous NDA government while Paswan has been a minister in all coalition governments since 1996, barring in UPA-II, which was in power from 2009 to 2014.
Pradhan, a Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar, is also the in-charge of party affairs for the state.
Kushwaha was an MP from JD(U) but later fell out with Kumar following which he formed RLSP and contested the polls in alliance with BJP. That brought about a turn in his fortunes and all three candidates of his party won in the just-concluded parliamentary polls.