Bihar got a fair representation in the new council of ministers following the stellar performance of the BJP-led NDA in the key Hindi heartland state.
Ravi Shankar Prasad
Ravi Shankar Prasad, 64, will continue as Minister of Law and Information Technology in Modi 2.0 cabinet. He also gets telecom, a portfolio he commanded in the first half of the previous Modi government.
As telecom minister, he oversaw the most successful spectrum auction, which fetched the exchequer Rs 1.10 lakh crore in revenue. He was instrumental in clearing policies such as spectrum trading, spectrum sharing, spectrum liberalisation, defence band identification, virtual network operator, full mobile number portability and policy for sharing of active and passive telecom infrastructure.
The new BJP Lok Sabha MP from Patna Sahib is credited with making governance more technology-enabled and public services more accessible. He also shepherded the ‘Digital India’ and delivered on Narendra Modi’s Make in India programme.
Begusarai MP Giriraj Singh, 66, is the only BJP minister from Bihar who has been elevated to cabinet rank from minister of state (independent charge) status in the previous government.
The BJP leader was appointed the Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries. He was inducted in previous government as minister of state in November 2014 as minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises. In September 2017, he became the minister of state with independent charge for micro, small and medium enterprises.
Before 2014, he was MLC in Bihar and a minister in NDA state cabinet. He was dropped as an animal husbandry minister by then chief minister Nitish Kumar in June 2013 when Nitish broke away from the NDA.
Ram Vilas Paswan
The Lok Janshakti Party(LJP) chief was Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in the previous government. In this term too, he has been allocated the same ministry. During his tenure, Ram Vilas had to do his bit of fire fighting during the Nestle Maggi controversy. Ram Vilas also mandated hallmarking of gold across the country through his ministry.
Bureaucrat-turned-politician and second time Lok Sabha member from Ara, R K Singh, has again been made minister of state (independent charge).
In Team Modi 1.0, Singh was the Minister of State for Power, and New and Renewable Energy. Singh played a major role in scaling up India’s renewable energy capacity in the previous regime. He was also instrumental in the successful launch of household electrification scheme Saubhagya – that provided around 2.63 crore families with electricity connections.
Ashwini Kumar Choubey
Buxar MP, Ashwini Kumar Choubey has also been retained as the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare in the new Narendra Modi government.
A new face in this government is the BJP’s Bihar unit chief Nityanand Rai, 52, who happens to be the party’s Ahir face in the state. Nityanand defeated the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha in Ujiarpur Lok Sabha constituency by a good margin of votes, winning the seat for a second consecutive term. Upendra had left the NDA and subsequently joined the opposition alliance ahead of the general election.