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The two-member cabinet in Bihar comprising Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Prasad Yadav will be expanded today.

Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) allied with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Tejaswi Yadav to form the government in Bihar recently.

About 30 members will be inducted from different constituents of the 'Mahagathbandhan' or the Grand Alliance. According to highly placed sources, the swearing-in will take place at 11.30 am inside the Raj Bhavan.

Among the invitees could be RJD supremo Lalu Prasad who was expected to arrive here on Monday night though party sources now claim he will be arriving on Tuesday by a morning flight.

The state cabinet can have up to 36 ministers, including the chief minister. The induction of ministers on Tuesday is expected to keep a few berths vacant for future expansion.

Also Read: Nitish Kumar: Master of the art of changing governments

An in-principle agreement has been reached that the RJD, which is the largest party in the state assembly, will have a lion's share of ministerial berths, followed by Kumar's JD(U).

Congress' state in-charge Bhakt Charan Das has said that the party is tipped to get three ministerial berths, two of which will be filled on Tuesday.

According to Congress sources who did not wish to be named, Afaque Alam and Murari Gautam have been handpicked as part of the party's strategy to back a Muslim and a Dalit.

Earlier, the names of Shakil Ahmed Khan, an AICC secretary and one of the most vocal MLAs, besides Rajesh Ram, were doing the rounds.

From the RJD camp, there seems to be little doubt over the induction of Tej Pratap Yadav, the maverick elder son of Lalu Prasad. Along expected lines, the party is expected to allot a number of berths to those from the Yadav caste, who form its core base.

Others whose names are doing the rounds include national general secretary Alok Mehta and young MLA Sudhakar Singh, whose father Jagadanand Singh is currently the state president and enjoys the respect of Tejashwi Yadav.

The JD(U) is likely to retain most of its ministers in the previous NDA government including Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Ashok Choudhary, Bijendra Yadav, Shravan Kumar and Leshi Singh.

It may drop a few who may have been deemed to be close to the BJP and former JD(U) president RCP Singh who has been accused of trying to split the party at the ex-ally's behest.

In addition, Hindustani Awam Morcha's Santosh Suman is also likely to return as a minister. The party, founded by his father and former CM Jitan Ram Manhi, has four MLAs and it had quit the NDA expressing solidarity with Nitish Kumar.

The lone Independent Sumit Kumar Singh, whose late father Narendra Singh was an old associate of the chief minister, had been made a minister in the previous government and he is also likely to be sworn in on Tuesday.

Earlier on the completion of the 75th years of India's Independence, Kumar also announced arrangements for additional 10 lakh jobs to the youth of the state in addition to the promise made by his deputy Tejashvi Yadav's earlier and indicated that total employment opportunities created could eventually be higher.

In his address from Patna's Gandhi Maidan, Kumar said that the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United) alliance government aims to provide at least 10 lakh jobs in the government and an additional 10 lakh "employment opportunities" in various sectors.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the BJP core committee in Bihar is likely to take place in the presence of its national president J P Nadda in New Delhi on Tuesday, PTI has reported citing a senior party leader.

The proposed meeting has been convened to discuss a number of issues that have been thrown up by the political upheaval in the state.

“The meeting will finalize who will be henceforth the party’s leaders in the state assembly and the state legislative council and also the overall legislature party leader," the party leader had said.

Nadda is also likely to brief the party leaders on the strategy to be adopted henceforth by BJP in the state where it has been abruptly stripped of power and finds itself pitted against a newly-formed but potentially formidable 'Mahagathbandhan'.

(With inputs from PTI)

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