No talks yet on joining Union Cabinet: Nitish

A day ahead of Sunday’s reshuffle and expansion of the Union Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bihar’s ruling JD-U said it is yet to get an invitation to join the BJP-led NDA government.

Janata Dal-United President and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday told the media here that his party is yet to get an invitation to join the Union Council of Ministers. “We have learnt about the JD-U’s entry into the Union Council of Ministers through the media. We have not received any proposal so far,” Nitish Kumar said.

The Chief Minister said if his party gets any proposal to join, then he will take a call.

According to JD-U leaders, the party is hopeful that two of its nominees would be inducted into the ministry.

Interestingly, since last week the names of a few JD-U MPs were doing the rounds for likely induction into the Union Council of Ministers.

Local Hindi dailies have reported that JD-U Rajya Sabha MP R.C.P. Singh, considered close to Nitish Kumar, will be the new Union Railway Minister. Besides, the names of state JD-U president and party Rajya Sabha MP Vashisht Narain Singh, party Lok Sabha MP from Purnea parliamentary constituency Santosh Kushwaha and party MP from Nalanda parliamentary constituency Kaushalender Kumar were also doing the rounds as likely to be inducted into the ministry.

The JD-U has only two Lok Sabha MPs from Bihar. The party contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls against the BJP and was routed due to the Modi factor then. The JD-U in 2013 had broken its 17 year old alliance with the BJP.

The JD-U faction led by Nitish Kumar on August 19 joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the party’s national executive meeting here.

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