Bihar gets 8 central ministers in view of 2025 assembly polls, 4 of them from BJP allies

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Patna, Jun 9 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inducted eight MPs from Bihar in his council of ministers, with four of them being from the allies, a move seen as BJP’s attempt to balance caste equation before next year's assembly elections.

BJP leaders Giriraj Singh, Nityanand Rai, Satish Chandra Dubey and Raj Bhushan Chaudhary were made ministers while Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) to two ministerial berths and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) and Hindustan Awam Morcha (Secular) got one each.

Political observers believe that the central BJP leaders kept in mind cast calculations too in selection of new ministers, hoping that it will help the NDA fare well in the the 2025 assembly elections in the state.

The JD(U) was rewarded with two berths in the Union Council of Ministers - Rajiv Ranjan Singh "Lalan" and Ram Nath Thakur who is a Rajya Sabha MP.

Both BJP and JD(U) won 12 seats each in the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar.

While BJP leaders Nityananad Rai and Giriraj Singh again found a place in the Union Council of Ministers again, two new faces of the party from the state, Raj Bhushan Chaudhary and Satish Chandra Dubey, were made ministers.

While Singh was inducted as a cabinet minister, the three other BJP MPs were made ministers of state.

Smaller allies Chirag Paswan, whose Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) won five seats, and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, the lone MP of Hindustani Awam Morcha, have also got cabinet berths.

The BJP leadership also attempted a delicate balancing of caste equation. Rajiv Ranjan Singh "Lalan", Giriraj Singh and Satish Chandra Dubey were picked from among the upper castes, the most ardent supporters of the BJP.

While Paswan, Manjhi and Chaurhdary belong to Ddalit and extremely backward classes, JD(U)'s Ram Nath Thakur (MoS independent charge) and Nityanand Rai, a former Bihar BJP president, are from the backward classes.

Incidentally, Thakur is the son of late Karpoori Thakur, the former chief minister who was awarded Bharat Ratna earlier this year. He is the only Rajya Sabha MP among ministers from Bihar.

A staunch loyalist of Narendra Modi, BJP leader Giriraj Singh has seen his political stock rise dramatically in recent years, despite the controversies he has courted by his comments. He has been inducted as a cabinet minister. The Hindutva firebrand leader, Singh, is by caste a Bhumihar.

Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan has solidified his status as the real political heir of his father, Ram Vilas Paswan.

In a stunning turn of events, Chirag was inducted as a cabinet minister, marking a remarkable comeback in Bihar's turbulent political career. Chirag's rise came after winning all five Lok Sabha seats allocated to the party in the NDA alliance in the elections.

Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) founder Jitan Ram Manjhi, who has been a formidable force in Bihar's political arena, was made a cabinet minister.

Manjhi's rise has been nothing short of extraordinary. Since 2014, he has relentlessly pursued the Gaya Lok Sabha seat, facing one crushing defeat after another before finally wresting the seat this time. Now, at nearly 80 years old, Manjhi stands triumphant, defying the odds once again.

He has the potential of swaying a larger share of Dalit votes in Bihar, a lot more than any other leader in the state. His induction into the union cabinet is electorally crucial for NDA in the 2025 Bihar assembly polls.

However, political observers believe that the BJP has not given representation to its traditional voters in the state - Vaishyas, Rajputs, and Kayasthas – in the union cabinet. PTI PKD NN

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