The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leadership has given a free hand to Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Modi, while deciding the names for the Cabinet posts in the newly constituted Bihar Cabinet. All the BJP MLAs and MLCs who were included in the Cabinet are considered loyal to Sushil Modi, who played a vital role in bringing back the BJP to power in the state by attacking RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members over their alleged corruption.  Sushil Modi did more than 100 press conferences in the last few months.

The Cabinet formation, in which 27 new ministers, including 14 from the JDU and 13 NDA leaders were given space, has once again strengthened the position of Sushil Modi in Bihar, whose detractors had written him off after the BJP’s debacle in the 2015 Assembly elections.

A group of 20 BJP MLAs had flown to Delhi on Friday to seek the intervention of the Centre in securing a position in the Cabinet, but they were told that the Centre would not intervene in the state’s matters. None of the 20 MLAs, despite meeting BJP Union ministers, were given a place in the Cabinet.

The Cabinet is a mix of experienced and young faces with the likes Sushil Modi, Nand Kishor and Prem Kumar bringing in years of experience, while people like Rana Randhir Singh (40) and Krishn Kumar Rishi (40) representing youth. The JDU has inducted most of those from the party who were ministers in the previous Grand Alliance government, to avoid any controversies.

The BJP leaders who were inducted into the newly formed Cabinet include former BJP state president Mangal Pandey (MLC), Rana Randhir Singh (MLA from Madhubani, East Champaran), Ramnarayan Mandal (MLA from Banka), Suresh Sharma (MLA from Muzaffarpur), Binod Singh (MLA from Prantpur), Brij Kishor Bind (MLA from Chainpur), Vinay Kumar Sinha (MLA from Lakhisarai), Vinod Narayan Jha (MLC), Krishn Kumar Rishi (MLA from Banmankhi) and Pramod Kumar (MLA from Motihari). Apart from them, senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna East) who has been the leader of Opposition, senior leader Prem Kumar (MLA from Gaya), have also been included in the Cabinet.

LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan’s younger brother Pashupati Paras, who is not a legislator, has also been included in the Cabinet and he would be nominated to the legislative council.

The other two constituents of the NDA in Bihar, HAM and RSLP, were not given representation in the Cabinet.

Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, who head HAM and RLSP respectively, had submitted a list of three candidates, while Kushwaha had recommended the name of Sudhanshu Shekhar, which was not accepted by the BJP.

Eight seats in the Cabinet have been left vacant.

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