Patna: Four independent legislators, who helped the Nitish Kumar government survive a trust vote on the floor of the Bihar assembly, are now eyeing a place in the cabinet.

A day after Nitish Kumar met Governor DY Patil, speculations are rife about a possible cabinet expansion.

"Nitish Kumar met governor and had dinner with him late on Thursday night. It was a one-to-one discussion that assumes much significance as it took place four days after JD-U dumped BJP," a Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader said.

According to JD-U leaders close to Nitish Kumar, some reallocation of portfolio is on cards. Eleven ministers from the allied Bharatiya Janata Party were sacked after the JD-U broke the 17-year alliance and walked out of the National Democratic Alliance on the issue of Narendra Modi's elevation as the BJP's face in the 2014 general elections.

Pawan Jaiswal, one of the four independent legislators, said that he along with three others supported Nitish Kumar without condition. "But, who is not eager to become minister? It is for Nitish Kumar to decide," the MLA added.

Dularchand Goswami and Somprakash Singh, both independent legislators supporting Nitish Kumar, said they would be "happy if provided an opportunity to serve as minister".

Binay Bihari is the fourth independent legislator who supported the Bihar Chief Minister. A JD-U leader said: "Some senior JD-U legislators are hopeful (of being) included in the cabinet..."Nitish Kumar will soon have to decide on portfolios including finance, health, road construction and tourism."

All these Ministries were with BJP before JD-U ended its alliance with it," said the JD-U leader.

Nitish Kumar called off the alliance and his colleague Sharad Yadav quit as convenor of the BJP-led NDA following mounting differences with the BJP over the elevation of the Gujarat Chief Minister to the centre stage.


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