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Patna:

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on Sunday, appointed eight new Janata Dal-United JD(U) MLAs as Ministers in his Cabinet as expanding it. There are now 33 ministers in the Nitish Kumar Cabinet, up from 25 ministers. Earlier, JD(U) had opted out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government at the Centre.

The newly appointed ministers are Ashok Choudhary, Shyam Rajak, Narendra Narayan Yadav, Sanjay Jha, Ramsewak Singh, Lakshmeshwar Rai Neeraj Kumar and Bima Bharti. Bima Bharti is the only woman among the new ministers.

Governor Lalji Tandon administered the oath of office and secrecy to the Ministers at a simple ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan. Five of the eight sworn-in are first-time ministers.

Earlier, BJP ally JD(U) had refused to join the Narendra Modi government. Talking to media, JD(U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said BJP wanted only one person from JD(U) in the cabinet which would have been just symbolic participation. However, he added that it is not a big issue and his party is with NDA.

With 16 MPs, JD(U) is the third largest party in NDA in the Lok Sabha after BJP and Shiv Sena.

PM Narendra Modi had sworn in as Prime Minister, on Thursday, for the second time.  Fifty-seven Ministers took the oath with him. By winning 303 seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party got the decisive mandate to rule the country for the next five years.

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