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Nitish’s Party To Get 2 Cabinet Berths: Sources

June 8, 2024
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The Janata Dal (United) will be getting two portfolios in the new cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sources within the party said. The party has proposed the name of two senior leaders – Lalan Singh and Ram Nath Thakur.

Lalan Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bihar’s Munger, while Ram Nath Thakur is a Rajya Sabha MP. Mr Thakur is the son of Bharat Ratna receipient Karpoori Thakur.

The decision was taken at a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meeting to decide on the cabinet berths ahead of the government’s swearing-in tomorrow.

According to sources, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) had sought two cabinet berths after winning 12 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. Another key ally, Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP, is seeking four portfolios and the post of the parliamentary speaker.

Mr Kumar and Mr Naidu emerged as kingmakers after the the BJP secured only 240 seats, falling short of the 272 needed for a majority government. The NDA clinched 293 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, marking a significant victory, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take oath for a third consecutive term on Sunday.

The coalition negotiations are a throwback to an era before 2014 – when PM Modi swept to power with an outright BJP majority – in which alliance partners haggled for positions and benefits.

Buzz of a sensational Nitish Kumar – INDIA bloc reunion surfaced Tuesday evening after it became clear the BJP would not win 272 seats on its own. Senior INDIA leaders, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, suggested an olive branch might be extended to Nitish Kumar.

On Thursday sources close to Nitish Kumar ruled out this possibility, but left a sting in the tail; with both sides locked in talks over ministerial berth allocation, the BJP brass was reportedly told to remember Nitish Kumar had walked out of the INDIA bloc over delays in naming him as its Convenor.

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