Nitish Kumar is all set to take oath as Bihar chief minister for the fourth time on 16 November. The constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which won the Bihar Assembly election, approved Kumar’s name for the top job at a meeting on 15 November.
He then went to meet the Governor and staked claim to form the next government in the state. However, all eyes are now on the cabinet and new additions, if any.
The ceremony will be attended by union home minister Amit Shah and BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda and it is likely to take place at 4.30 pm
On 15 November, Kumar along with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) leaders held meetings discussing the probable size of the cabinet.
People aware of the developments said there are chances the JD(U) having 43 MLAs could get 12 ministerial berths while the BJP having 74 MLAs could get 18 ministers with one ministerial berth to be allotted to both Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP) and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM).
The number of ministers could be increased in coming months, the people cited above added.
According to NDA leaders, the allocation of ministerial berths to allies is being done on the formula of allotting two berths for every seven seats the party has won.
On that basis, the JD(U) can expect to get 14 ministerial berths against 20 for the BJP.
The maximum number of ministers in the cabinet permissible in the government is 36 as the size of council of ministers can be only 15% of the total number of seats in the Assembly, which stands at 243.
Two Deputy CMs in Bihar
The speculation is rife that the BJP may instate two Deputy Chief Ministers, both belonging to the saffron party, an arrangement similar to Uttar Pradesh.
Four-term Katihar MLA Tarkishore Prasad was named the BJP legislature party leader, indicating that he could be the deputy chief minister in the new NDA government headed by Nitish Kumar.
Bettiah MLA Renu Devi was made the BJP’s deputy legislature party leader and she could be another deputy CM in the NDA ministry, which will be sworn-in on 16 November evening.
However, when asked if there will be two deputy chief ministers from BJP in Bihar, Tarkishore Prasad said: “The party is deliberating on it. We will follow the directions of the party. I can’t comment on it as of now.”