The ruling BJP is discussing a cabinet expansion in Bihar, where more from the party are likely to join Nitish Kumar's government. The BJP has more ministers in the Bihar government than the Chief Minister's Janata Dal United (JDU) and will continue to do so, sources said today.
The Bihar cabinet expansion will take place soon and there is no dispute with Nitish Kumar on the number of ministers and ministries, sources said after a meeting at BJP chief JP Nadda's home last evening.
There are ministers of the BJP who have more than one ministry and the new ministers will take over the extra portfolios, said the sources.
"The number of ministers will be decided based on the number of MLAs. Even now the BJP has more ministers and the BJP will continue to have more ministers," sources said.
The meeting, in which names of possible ministers were discussed, was attended by top Bihar BJP leaders including Sushil Modi, who was Nitish Kumar's Deputy for much of his 15 years in power until his designation was given to two new ministers after the November Bihar election.
Sushil Modi, who was recently moved to the Rajya Sabha, was quoted as telling news agency ANI, "The Bihar cabinet expansion has no relation with the cabinet at the centre, you will get information soon when it happens... The people at the centre were busy with many subjects, so it was delayed, but the cabinet will be expanded soon."
He also denied any problems in the alliance, amid reports of strained ties between the BJP and Nitish Kumar.
The Bihar election reversed the power equation between Nitish Kumar and the BJP, with the Chief Minister's party finishing third in the final tally, scoring much less than an ally that had so far played second fiddle.
Soon after the results, the BJP was seen to establish its upper hand by replacing Sushil Modi, whom Nitish Kumar enjoyed a rapport with, and appointing two new Deputy Chief Ministers.