A reshuffle on the lines of Gujarat may be executed in November, when the govt completes one year.
New Delhi: The BJP is contemplating replicating the Gujarat formula in Bihar and changing the majority of its ministers, who have proven to be “non-performer”, including the two Deputy CMs who had taken oath with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on 16 November 2020.
This reshuffle is likely to be executed in November, when the government completes its one year. Along with Nitish Kumar, five JDU and one each from Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) MLAs and seven BJP leaders were appointed as ministers in November.
From the BJP—the two deputy Chief Ministers—Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi BJP, Mangal Pandey, Amarendra Pratap Singh, Rampreet Paswan, Jibesh Kumar and Ramsurat Kumar were sworn in as ministers. 80 days later, Nitish Kumar expanded his cabinet by including 17 ministers, including 9 BJP and 8 JDU legislatures.
According to Patna-based party sources, the cabinet reshuffle will be effected to bring in more influential voices from the BJP quota in the government and improve governance, especially in the ministries that are headed by BJP leaders.
Deputy CM Prasad, who is battling charges of nepotism by allegedly helping his relatives get state government contracts, is likely to be dropped on account of “non-performance” and the fact that his alleged involvement in helping his relatives get government contracts would hurt Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on giving “clean government”.
The other deputy CM, Renu Devi, gathered headlines in Bihar after it emerged that she was referring to her departmental secretary as “sir”. According to a senior party leader, the situation of Bihar BJP when it comes to having a say in running the administration was “minimum”. “During the last term, we at least had Sushil Modi whose political stature is equal to Nitish Kumar and both of them shared a warm personal rapport. Due to this, the bureaucrats would respond to his calls and carry out the orders given by him. However, right now, a clutch of bureaucrats are running the show apart from Nitish Kumar and they don’t give any sort of ‘lift’ to our ministers, leave alone our MLAs. This is affecting and is going to affect our organization in the long run as the work of ordinary workers and leaders, that they expect to be done, is not happening,” a senior party functionary told The Sunday Guardian from Patna.
Patna-based party leaders recalled that during the last term, the BJP had experienced and assertive leaders like Nand Kishore Yadav, Prem Kumar and Nitish Mishra whose words were taken seriously by their respective departmental secretaries and they commanded respect from the bureaucracy. “Now, the loyalty of the respective secretaries, who are working with BJP leaders, is more with the CM and his Principal Secretary,” another BJP party leader who handles the media said.