The BJP on Tuesday alleged that the new cabinet in Bihar reflected "social imbalance" and patronage to those with criminal antecedents in the 'Mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance), which formed government after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) severed ties with the BJP.
Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said in a statement that "two communities" had grabbed "more than 33 per cent" of berths in the 33-strong cabinet that includes the Chief Minister and RJD's Tejashwi Yadav who has returned as his deputy.
Mr Modi's allusion was to Yadavs and Muslims, largely seen as loyal to the RJD. The two social groups together have 13 cabinet berths, including those from the Chief Minister's JD(U) and the Congress.
The former Deputy Chief Minister also referred to serious criminal cases against new inductees like Lalit Yadav, Surendra Yadav, Ramanand Yadav, and Kartikeya Singh.
He also pointed out that the new cabinet had "zero representation" from among Telis and upper caste Kayasthas while the number of Rajputs has gone down compared with the previous government of which BJP was a part.
"I wonder what are Nitish Kumar's compulsions (majboori) behind agreeing to such social imbalance and criminalisation", said Modi.
In what may be indicative of the future strategy, more than one BJP leader railed against "marginalization" of 'ati pichhra' (EBCs) in the new dispensation.
While Mr Modi underscored that Renu Devi, an EBC, was made Deputy Chief Minister by the BJP, no minister from the sizeable, but disorganised, the social group was considered for the top job this time.
State BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal claimed in a Facebook post that the number of EBCs in the cabinet has dropped from six to only three.
BJP OBC Morcha national general secretary Nikhil Anand alleged that "marginalisation" of the EBCs was a "betrayal" on part of Nitish Kumar who "won over this social segment, riding on BJP's back".
"Nitish and Tejashwi seem to have declared a revolt (bagavat) against the EBCs. The BJP will not allow this injustice", he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)