BJP leader and Home minister Amit Shah has refuted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's claim that R C P Singh's inclusion in the Union Cabinet last year did not have his approval, party sources said on Wednesday. In a closed-door meeting with Bihar BJP core group members on Tuesday, Shah said the Janata Dal (United) leader had spoken to him on his party's representation in the Cabinet ahead of its expansion in July last year.
As Singh, who was then JD(U) president, was keen on joining the Modi government, Kumar told Shah that he can be included, party sources said, sharing Shah's comments on the issue in the meeting. The home minister also noted that Kumar wanted two members of his party to be inducted in the Union Cabinet but backed Singh's induction in case only one party member being given the berth, sources added.
After snapping ties with the BJP, Kumar had claimed that the induction of Singh, his close aide for a long time before their recent fallout, in the Union government was not approved by him. To its demand for more ministerial berths, the BJP had then conveyed to the JD(U) that it can't give more than one ministerial position to it, noting that the Shiv Sena was also given only one berth.
The Sena had won more Lok Sabha seats than the JD(U) in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The Sena snapped ties with the BJP in 2020 while the JD(U) quit the ruling alliance last week.Bihar BJP leaders were told by the central leadership at the Tuesday meeting to take on the JD(U)-RJD government aggressively as a target of winning 35 of 40 Lok Sabha seats in the 2024 polls was set.