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regular-article-logo Monday, 26 February 2024

Congress wants two more ministers in Bihar

New BPCC president asserts he would talk to CM Nitish, deputy CM about the matter

Dev Raj Patna Published 13.12.22, 03:03 AM
Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Akhilesh Prasad Singh

Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Akhilesh Prasad Singh File picture

The newly appointed Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) president Akhilesh Prasad Singh demanded two more ministers from the party in the Grand Alliance government in Bihar on Monday.

He asserted that he would talk to chief minister Nitish Kumar, as well as, deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav about it soon.

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Akhilesh also pointed out that there was a lack of coordination among the Grand Alliance partners and demanded a ‘coordination committee’ in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

“Our party has 19 MLAs in the Legislative Assembly but has just two ministers in the state cabinet. We should have two more ministers. We will soon talk about this with Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi. We will also demand a coordination committee for the alliance,” Akhilesh said.

The Bihar Congress president was addressing his first press conference after being appointed to the post. He had taken charge on Sunday after arriving in Patna to a rousing reception by party leaders and workers.

Bihar has 33 ministers in total, including the chief minister, while among the Grand Alliance partners, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has 79 MLAs, Janata Dal United (JDU) has 45, Congress 19, CPIML 12, Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular (HAMS) has four, while CPI and CPM have two each.

The total strength of the alliance in the 243-member Assembly comes to 163 and has the support of an independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh, who is a minister.

However, the Left parties have not participated in the government despite being a part of the coalition.

This leaves 33 ministers on 148 MLAs, averaging one minister on every 4.5 MLAs.

If this formula is considered, the Congress’ demand for two more ministers turns out to be logical.

Some of its senior leaders have pointed out this anomaly in sharing the power in the state earlier, but never asserted to get their due.

Speaking further while interacting with media persons, Akhilesh announced that Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and president Mallikarjun Kharge are expected to participate in the party’s 1,200km yatra in Bihar beginning on December 28 in support of the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“Kharge will come at the launch of the yatra from Banka in Bihar. We will invite Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi when the yatra reaches Patna, while Rahul Gandhi will be invited to participate in the closing ceremony of the yatra,” Akhilesh said.

The BPCC president added that he will work to revive the lost base of the party in Bihar and “all the workers need to work in a united manner to achieve it. I will strive to take everybody along. The party’s structure from the booths to the state level will be reorganised in the next two weeks.”

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