Nitish drops 10 ministers, inducts 19 new faces

April 13th, 2008 - 11:13 pm ICT by admin  

Patna, April 13 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Sunday effected the first reshuffle of his cabinet since coming to power in November 2005, dropping 10 ministers and inducting 19 new faces to improve the performance of his National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. Governor R.S. Gavai administered the oath of office to the 17 new cabinet ministers and two ministers of state at Raj Bhawan here. The strength of the council of ministers has now gone up from 27 to 36.

Nitish Kumar told newspersons that new faces were given a chance to perform and contribute in the development of the state.

Nagmani, a senior Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator and former central minister who served in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was among the new faces inducted.

Other new cabinet ministers are Jitan Ram Manjhi, Bhola Singh, Ram Pravesh Rai, Dinesh Prasad, Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha, Sahid Ali Khan, Chedi Paswan, Giriraj Singh, Renu Devi, Dinesh Chandra Yadav, Hari Prasad Sao, Damodar Rawat, Hari Narayan Singh, Ramanand Singh and Avadesh Narayan Singh.

Manjhi, a Dalit leader, was forced to resign soon after he was inducted into the council of ministers in 2005 following a controversy over his alleged involvement in a teachers’ training institutions scam in the 1990s.

Those inducted as minister of state are Jamshed Ashraf and Vayasdeo Prasad.

Hours ahead of the expansion of the council of ministers, the resignations of eight ministers were accepted and later the resignations of two more ministers were accepted.

Official sources said Nitish Kumar had asked his ministerial colleagues Saturday night to submit their resignations.

“All ministers submitted their resignations Sunday and Governor R.S. Gavai accepted the resignations of 10 of them with immediate effect,” an official said.

The 10 who were dropped include Rural Development Minister Vaidyanath Mahto, Building Construction and Housing Minister Monajir Hasan, Youth, Art and Culture Minister Janardan Sigrawal, Welfare Minister Rameshwar Paswan, Minister of State for Food, Supply and Commerce Suchitra Devi, Minister of State for Information and Public Relations Arjun Rai, Minister of State for Transport Ajit Kumar, Minister of State for Minority Welfare Manjar Alam and Minor Water Resources Minister Vishwa Mohan Kumar.

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