Saturday, May 23, 2009

Meira Kumar is single Bihar representative in Cabinet

PATNA: Meira Kumar is the lone face from Bihar to have found a berth in the Union Cabinet. In the outgoing UPA ministry, there were four Union
ministers of the Cabinet rank from Bihar besides eight Union state ministers. But this time the number is likely to drop down drastically given the fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh does not have the option to include more ministers in his government from Bihar.

With RJD not finding favours with the ruling dispensation at the Centre, none of its 4 MPs, including Lalu Prasad, could make it to the ministry. The fact that RJD had not been invited for the crucial UPA meeting convened at New Delhi had made things clear that RJD would not get representation in the Union Cabinet.

In the outgoing UPA ministry, Lalu Prasad and Raghuvansh Prasad Yadav (both RJD) were the Cabinet rank ministers while Congress MP Meira Kumar was another Cabinet minister from Bihar. The fourth Cabinet rank minister from Bihar was Ram Vilas Paswan who was however humbled this time in his traditional Hajipur seat.

With Congress boasting of only two MPs from Bihar, Meira Kumar was the obvious choice for induction into the Union Cabinet. The other Congress MP from Kishanganj Ashrarul Haque may possibly get a berth in the ministry in the second round of expansion. But a Cabinet rank for him is ruled out as he does not have the experience required to run a ministry. In fact, he has been elected for the first time even though he tried his luck on a number of occasions in the past .

The two independent MPs — Digvijay Singh from Banka and Omprakash Yadav from Siwan — could be considered for ministerial positions in the next round of expansion. Mr Singh is tipped to take over as the Union minister of state for railways or external affairs. In the past he had worked as a junior minister under Mamata Banerjee in the railways.

Source : Economic Times

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