New Delhi: The number of ministerial berths the Congress would get in Bihar’s ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government has been decided after talks with alliance partners and the oath-taking is likely to take place on August 16, AICC Bihar in-charge Bhakta Charan Das said on Saturday. He, however, refused to divulge the number of ministerial berths the Congress would be getting and said it would be “respectable” and according to the party’s strength in the House.
Asked about the number of ministerial berths, Das told PTI, “It has been finalised. The numbers would be as per our strength in the House. We have not yet finalized the names.” “We are a big party and many have joined us. Keeping in mind everything, it (the number) will be respectable,” he said.
Asked about when the Bihar Cabinet expansion would take place, he said the oath-taking is likely to happen on August 16. He also said he spoke with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and would meet him in Patna also if the need arises. The Congress leader asserted that “major exercise” for finalising ministerial berths has been completed.
Das had met Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief, Lalu Prasad, here on Friday for the first time after the formation of the new government in Bihar and held discussions with him. He had said Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav also met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday and had a discussion with her on the cabinet expansion.
Earlier, Congress sources had indicated that the party was likely to get four ministerial berths in the new government in Bihar. The cabinet, which at present comprises only Chief Minister Kumar and Yadav as his deputy, is due for expansion early next week.
Mr Kumar and Mr Yadav had taken oath on Wednesday, a day after the JD(U) snapped ties with the BJP-led NDA and joined hands with the RJD, the Congress and some other parties to form the Mahagathbandhan government.