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8 Bihar ministers in Modi govt but NDA’s choices reflect regional, social imbalances

Following the NDA’s impressive performance in Bihar, where it won 30 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats, the state has got a sizable number of berths — three Cabinet and five Ministers of State — in the Union Council of Ministers. However, the NDA’s choice of ministers has revealed a stark regional and social imbalance.

While six ministers hail from north Bihar, the southern and central parts of the state have only one minister each. The BJP in particular seems to have ignored its core Vaishya (Baniya) voter base even as the NDA seems to have overlooked the OBC Kushwaha community, which has hinted at consolidating behind the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led Mahagathbandhan.

While NDA’s Kushwaha face Upendra Kushwaha lost from Karakat, the BJP nominees lost the three neighbouring seats of Arrah, Buxar, and Sasaram, all of which have a sizeable Kushwaha population. The JD(U)’s Valmiki Nagar MP Sunil Kumar, a Kushwaha face, also did not make the cut.

The regional imbalance is visible as two ministers, JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Ramnath Thakur from Samastipur and Ujiyarpur (which was carved out of Samastipur) MP Nityananda Rai, come from the same area. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Satish Chandra Dubey, a Brahmin face, comes from Champaran of north Bihar and so does Hajipur MP Chirag Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas). The BJP’s Giriraj Singh, who represents Begusarai, is the sixth minister from north Bihar. The Ganga divides the state into north Bihar and other areas.

Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) chief and Gaya MP Jitan Ram Manjhi is the lone minister from central Bihar. Similarly, Rajiv Ranjan Singh, popularly known as Lalan Singh, the JD(U) MP from Munger, is the only minister from south Bihar.

The NDA has also tried to give representation

Read more on indianexpress.com