Patna: Countering Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav’s assertion on cabinet expansion, Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh on Sunday said that cabinet expansion is the prerogative of the chief minister and it’s immaterial what other than the CM says on it.
Singh said this while talking to media person at the outset of the third leg of Bharat Jodo Yatra in Bihar at Sheohar.
Bihar cabinet can have a maximum of 36 ministers and five posts are still vacant. “The RJD may have two more ministerial births, while the Congress eyes the same number of berths in accordance with its tally in the assembly,” said a senior Congress leader.
“The CM during his Samadhan Yatra trip to Madhubani had said that the cabinet would have more faces from the Congress. Rest can say whatever they want,” said Singh.
The deputy chief minister on Thursday had dismissed the Congress’s claim that it would be getting additional berths in the cabinet, saying that there were no talks about chief minister Nitish Kumar going for any cabinet expansion.
“There has been no discussion on cabinet expansion in the Mahagathbandhan (MGB). I fail to understand how things start moving around. We have never demanded more cabinet berths. I am not aware if Congress has done so,” Tejashwi had said.
The BPCC chief’s assertions that the deputy CM doesn’t have the locus standi to comment on the CM’s prerogatives apparently hints at the face-off between the two constituents of the MBG.
“By skipping the concluding event of the main Bharat Jodo Yatra being led by Rahul Gandhi in Srinagar, both the RJD and the JD(U), have made their intent very clear the Congress wasn’t there in their priority. The war of words that ensued over the cabinet expansion may intensify the trouble within the MGB,” said Nawal Kishore Chaudhary, former head of Patna University’s economics department and political commentator.
A fortnight ago, Singh had claimed that the party was aspiring to get two berths in the cabinet as per its standing in the assembly and the CM had agreed to accommodate it during the next round of cabinet expansion after the conclusion of Samadhan Yatra.