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Shivanand Tiwari among 17 ministers dropped in Bihar

July 04, 2004 18:13 IST

Ending the week-long suspense, Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi on Sunday dropped 17 ministers nine from the Rashtriya Janata Dal, six Congress and two independents including disgruntled excise minister Shivanand Tiwari, to reduce the size of her cabinet to 36 to meet the constitutional requirement.

She forwarded the resignations of the 17 ministers, six of cabinet rank and 11 ministers of state, to Governor M Rama Jois.

The chief minister, along with Union Railway Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, told a press conference in Patna that the Congress ministers were dropped on the recommendations of their party high command.

They said all the dropped ministers had performed well but the chief minister had to meet the obligations of 91st constitutional amendment according to which she had to limit her cabinet to 36 from 53. The current strength of Bihar assembly is 243.

The cabinet ministers removed were Shivanand Tiwari (Excise), Ram Padarath Mahto (Rajbhasa), Basawan Bhagat (Jail) and Ramlakhan Ram (Secondary and Higher Education) - all RJD, and Veena Shahi (Cooperative) and Viswa Mohan Sharma (Industry) - Congress.

The ministers of state who have been shown the door include five from RJD, four Congress and two Independents.

Speculation was rife over the ouster of Tiwari ever since he had shot off a letter to the RJD president on Sunday last accusing him of being responsible for his defeat from the Buxar Lok Sabha seat.

All 53 ministers had submitted their resignations to the chief minister a week back to facilitate re-sizing of the ministry.

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