Portfolios allocated in Bihar cabinet; Nitish retains home, BJP gets finance, health

Patna: Portfolios were on Saturday allocated in the new Bihar cabinet, with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar retaining the crucial home portfolio but giving away finance, which his JD(U) had held, to new ally BJP.

According to an official notification besides home, which helps the CM maintain control over the state police, Kumar has also retained key departments like cabinet secretariat, election, vigilance, general administration and “all other portfolios not allocated to anyone else”.

State BJP chief Samrat Choudhary, who has become a Deputy Chief Minister, has got finance, a portfolio that his party has always held whenever it has shared power with the JD(U) supremo. Earlier, when Kumar was running a government with the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, comprising Congress, RJD, the health, finance department was held by the JD(U).

Besides finance, Choudhary has been given health, another portfolio that the BJP has held whenever it shares power in Bihar. Besides, he has been given commercial tax, urban development and housing, sports, panchayati raj, animal husbandry and fisheries and law.

Choudhary’s party colleague Vijay Kumar Sinha, who is also a Deputy CM, has been given agriculture, road construction, revenue and land reforms, mining and geology, sugarcane, labour resources, art, culture and youth affairs, minor water resources and public health engineering department, the notification said.

Senior BJP leader Prem Kumar, who is only the third BJP leader to have been inducted into the nine-member cabinet formed last Sunday, has got cooperatives, OBC and Extremely Backward Classes Welfare, disaster management, tourism and environment and climate change.

JD(U) leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary has retained parliamentary affairs, besides getting water resources, transport, building construction, education and information and public resources department.

Veteran JD(U) leader Bijendra Yadav, whom Kumar often credits for transforming the power sector in the state, has retained the department, besides getting excise and prohibition, planning and development, rural works and minority welfare.

JD(U) leader Shravan Kumar has retained rural welfare besides getting social welfare and food and consumer affairs.

Santosh Kumar Suman of the Hindustani Awam Morcha has got SC and ST welfare and Information Technology.

Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh, who has remained loyal towards the CM during his numerous switchovers in the last four years, has retained science, technology and technical education.