Sad That Kayasthas Left Out Of Nitish Kumar Cabinet, Says BJP Lawmaker

Nitish Kumar was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Bihar for the sixth time last week after he dumped the Grand Alliance and revived a partnership with the BJP.

Sad That Kayasthas Left Out Of Nitish Kumar Cabinet, Says BJP Lawmaker

Nitish Kumar's new Bihar cabinet, including ministers from BJP, took charge on Saturday.

Patna:  An upper caste BJP lawmaker has expressed shock over his party's decision to not induct anyone from his Kayastha community in Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's cabinet. Members of his community, he said, have been loyal to the BJP since 1977. There were educated and experienced BJP leaders from the Kayastha community, but he said they had been ignored.

"It is a matter of sadness and surprise that not a single Kayastha has been inducted in the newly formed government. I will meet BJP President Amit Shah to draw his attention to it," Ravindra Kishore Sinha, a Rajya Sabha member, was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.

Nitish Kumar had broken the Grand Alliance last week and came back at the head of a new government in partnership with the BJP in a span of 14 hours. He took oath as the Chief Minister on Thursday and after winning Friday's trust vote, announced a cabinet of 27 ministers. Of them, 14 ministers are from his Janata Dal (United) and 13 from the NDA. Over half-a-dozen NDA ministers belong to the three powerful upper castes of Bihar -- Bhumihars, Rajputs and Brahmins.

On Saturday, after the ministers took oath, JDU spokesman Ajay Alok had publicly expressed displeasure, saying it was disheartening that no one from the kayastha community was given a berth in the cabinet.

In January, ahead of the elections in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the people to rise above caste-based politics. "People of the state (Uttar Pradesh) have already seen politics of caste and family... For once, rise above caste and vote only for development," he had said.

Mr Sinha, however, pointed out that there was a local saying that if the BJP is sure of support from a community, apart from the traders, it is the Kayasthas.

The lawmaker, who has long been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP, runs the Security and Intelligence Services India Ltd, one of the biggest private security agencies in the country. He has assets worth Rs 564 crore and his wife's assets are Rs 230 crore, according to his nomination papers filed in 2014.

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