JD(U) to join NDA? 3 Cab­i­net berths on of­fer

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - MANISHANAND @ New Delhi

WITH the JD (U) brac­ing up to jo in­ing the NDA gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre, the Cab­i­net ex­pan­sion and reshuf­fle is likely to hap­pen in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture. A day af­ter meet­ing Bihar Chief Min­is­ter Ni­tish Kumar, BJP chief Amit Shah stated that the JD (U) has for­mally been in­vited to join the NDA.

With the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing of the JD (U) slated for Au­gust 19, spec­u­la­tion is rife that the Cab­i­net ex­pan­sion may take place in the later this month. “The JD (U) will for­mally pass a res­o­lu­tion dur­ing the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing in Patna to join the NDA. Shah has been told that the party will share the names of the MPs who could join the coun­cil of min­is­ters headed by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi,” sources said.

Ni­tish Kumar loy­al­ists and Ra­jya Sabha MPs — RCP Singh, Ram Nath Thakur and Hari­vansh — are favourites to join the join the Cab­i­net. “The CM is of clear view that the party nom­i­nees in the NDA gov­ern­ment will not be cho­sen on the ba­sis of ca ste con­sid­er­a­tions. He has taken care of such con­cerns in the Bihar coun­cil of min­is­ters. Ni­tish wants per­form­ers to be in the Modi gov­ern­ment, who can earn good names for the party,” sources added.

WHILE RC P Sing his the new leader of the JD( U) in place of dis­si­dent Sharad Ya­dav and two terms Ra­jya Sabha MP, Ram Nath Thakur is a for­mer Bihar min­is­ter and also the son of for­mer state chief min­is­ter Kar­poori Thakur. Hari­vansh is a jour­nal­ist turned politi­cian and a first term Ra­jya Sabha MP. The JD (U) has 10 Ra­jya Sabha MPs and two in the Lok Sabha.

“It has emerged that the JD (U) will get one Cab­i­net rank port­fo­lio, one min­istry with in­de­pen­dent charge and an­other of the min­is­ter of state (MoS) rank,” sources said.

In­ci­den­tally, Sharad Ya­dav was the NDA con­venor be­fore the Bihar chief min­is­ter snapped al­liance with the BJP in 2013. The BJP is keen to rope in Ni­tish Kumar in an im­por­tant role in the NDA.

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