Of the 27 ministers, 14 are from Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) JD (U), 12 from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pool and one from Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).
Sources said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar refused to include two of NDA allies Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and Jitan Ram Manji's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) in his cabinet. It is being said that Manjhi had told BJP leaders that he was not keen on joining Nitish Kumar’s cabinet.
Instead, Jitan Ram Manjhi had asked the BJP to induct another member from his party into the cabinet but the offer was turned down by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
JD (U) sources said that Manjhi is a lone MLA from his party and it was difficult for the Chief Minister to include a Non-MLA into his cabinet.
However, Ram Vilas Paswan’s younger brother Pashupati Nath Paras who is not a member of legislative assembly was included into the cabinet on Saturday.
As it was being speculated Chief Minister Nitish Kumar handed over the finance, commercial taxes, forest and IT portfolio to Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi after cabinet expansion and oath ceremony Saturday evening.
Modi had earlier handed over the list of 12 members from the BJP to be inducted into the cabinet. Sources said Modi and the Chief Minister had also discussed the distribution of portfolio.
The Chief Minister kept home affairs, general administration and vigilance for himself.
Nitish Kumar was sworn in as Chief Minister on Thursday, a day after he left the grand secular alliance and joined hands with the BJP led NDA. BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had also taken oath as Deputy Chief Minister along with Kumar.
Internal sources said that most of the ministers from the BJP quota who took oath on Saturday are considered close to Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
However, a BJP leader denied the allegation and said that the list was finalized after several rounds of meetings with senior party leaders.
“We are happy that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar didn’t compromise and chose to leave Lalu Yadav, we will jointly take this state towards development”, BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav said after the oath on Saturday.
Former state BJP president and the organizational in-charge for Himachal Pradesh Mangal Pandey couldn’t turn up for the oath ceremony as his flight was delayed.
Party sources said, Pandey was supposed to return from Shimla for oath but he remained stranded at Chandigarh airport, “a separate arrangement is being made for him and he will take oath after he returns”.