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States
Last Updated: November 28, 2010
2 Muslims in 29-Member New Bihar Ministry
By Our Staff Writer

Two Muslims Shahid Ali Khan and Ms Parveen Amanullah were among those sworn in at Patna on November 26, 2010 as ministers along with 59-year old Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who led the NDA to a landslide victory in the Bihar elections. Both CM Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi took oath for second consecutive terms.

In total, nineteen MLAs from JD (U) and ten from BJP took oath as ministers. No leader from the Opposition parties, which were decimated in the polls, was present at the swearing-in ceremony. Governor Devanand Konwar administered the oath of office and secrecy to them at a function held at the sprawling Gandhi Maidan.

Among the ministers 11 are from upper castes, nine from backward castes and four each from Extremely Backward Castes and Schedule Castes. Nitish Kumar inducted his close confidante and state JD (U) president Vijay Kumar Choudhary and gave cabinet berths as reward to Ramai Ram and Shyam Rajak, who had parted ways with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and joined JD (U).

Nitish Kumar retained Vijendra Prasad Yadav, Narendra Narayan Yadav, Narendra Singh, Brishen Patel, Renu Kumari, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Gautam Singh, Damodar Raut, Shahid Ali Khan and Hariprasad Sah, who were ministers during his previous tenure.

Among the new entrants in the ministry from JD (U) is Ms Parveen Amanullah from the Sahebpur Kamal constituency in Begusarai district. She is wife of Principal Secretary to state cabinet coordination department Afzal Amanullah.

Nitish Mishra, son of former chief minister and now senior JD (U) leader Jagannath Mishra, senior MLC Bhim Singh, Awadhesh Kushwaha and legal expert and former advocate general P K Sahi took oath as ministers. Nitish Mishra was state minister for disaster management in the previous NDA government.

Besides 58-year-old Sushil Kumar Modi, others from BJP who took oath are Nand Kishore Yadav, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Prem Kumar, Giriraj Singh and Janardan Sigriwal, who were ministers in the previous government. New faces from BJP who took oath are Sukhda Pandey, Sunil Kumar Pintoo, Satyadeo Narayan Arya and Ramadhar Singh.

The way Ms Parveen Amanullah, daughter of Syed Shahabuddin, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), took oath has made her controversial. She took oath in the name of “Satya aur Nishtha”, contrary to her senior colleague Shahid Ali Khan swearing in the name of Allah. In 1989, controversy had also arisen when Qazi Rasheed Masood took oath in the name of “Allah-Ishwar” during the regime of late V P Singh. Ms Parveen Amanullah’s contesting election on the ticket of JD (U), a senior ally of BJP, and inclusion in the new Bihar NDA ministry is being considered a surprise because her father is in the forefront in steering anti-BJP policy while appealing to the Muslim voters to use their right to franchise in favour of winnable candidates of secular parties opposed to the BJP/ NDA during elections.       

The ceremony was attended by BJP President Nitin Gadkari, senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Rajnath Singh, Anant Kumar and Shatrughan Sinha. From the JD (U), its National President Sharad Yadav, besides former chief minister and senior JD (U) leader Jagannath Mishra and several members from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha from Bihar were present.

Meanwhile, the Bihar Legislative Assembly faced a constitutional crisis as not a single political party in the Opposition had obtained 10 per cent seats out of the total seats (243). It should be at least 24. However, the Bihar Rashtriya Janta Dal Legislature Party that had only 22 MLAs, on Nov 28 unanimously elected Bihar RJD President Abdul Bari Siddiqui its leader in the house. Siddiqui replaced former Chief Minister Rabri Devi following hr defeat from both Raghopur and Sonepur constituencies in the recently concluded elections.  

 


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