The state cabinet can have up to 36 ministers, including the chief minister. The induction of ministers on Tuesday is expected to keep a few berths vacant for future expansion.
An in-principle agreement has been reached that the RJD, which is the largest party in the state assembly, will have a lion’s share of ministerial berths, followed by Kumar’s JD(U).
Congress’ state in-charge Bhakt Charan Das has said that the party is tipped to get three ministerial berths, two of which will be filled on Tuesday.
According to Congress sources who did not wish to be named, Afaque Alam and Murari Gautam have been handpicked as part of the party’s strategy to back a Muslim and a Dalit.
Earlier, the names of Shakil Ahmed Khan, an AICC secretary and one of the most vocal MLAs, besides Rajesh Ram, were doing the rounds.
From the RJD camp, there seems to be little doubt over the induction of Tej Pratap Yadav, the maverick elder son of Lalu Prasad. Along expected lines, the party is expected to allot a number of berths to those from the Yadav caste, who form its core base.
Others whose names are doing the rounds include national general secretary Alok Mehta and young MLA Sudhakar Singh, whose father Jagadanand Singh is currently the state president and enjoys the respect of Tejashwi Yadav.
The JD(U) is likely to retain most of its ministers in the previous NDA government including Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Ashok Choudhary, Bijendra Yadav, Shravan Kumar and Leshi Singh.
It may drop a few who may have been deemed to be close to the BJP and former JD(U) president RCP Singh who has been accused of trying to split the party at the ex-ally’s behest.
In addition, Hindustani Awam Morcha’s Santosh Suman is also likely to return as a minister. The party, founded by his father and former CM Jitan Ram Manhi, has four MLAs and it had quit the NDA expressing solidarity with Nitish Kumar.
The lone Independent Sumit Kumar Singh, whose late father Narendra Singh was an old associate of the chief minister, had been made a minister in the previous government and he is also likely to be sworn in on Tuesday.