BJP surprise selection in Bihar: Tarkishore, Renu Devi could be Deputy CMs

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Patna, Nov 15 (PTI) Four-term Katihar MLA Tarkishore Prasad was on Sunday named the BJP legislature party leader, indicating that he could be the deputy chief minister in the new NDA government headed by Nitish Kumar.

Bettiah MLA Renu Devi was made the BJP's deputy legislature party leader and she could be another deputy CM in the NDA ministry, which will be sworn-in on Monday evening.

Prasad and Renu Devi's names were announced at the BJP legislature party meeting here during the day.

The meeting was attended by senior BJP leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the party's state in-charge Bhupendra Yadav, election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis, Union minister Nityanand Rai and state party chief Sanjay Jaiswal, among others.

Sushil Kumar Modi proposed the name of Prasad, which was seconded by all the newly-elected MLAs.

Prasad will perform the responsibility this time in the place of Sushil Modi.

Not much is known about Prasad in the political circles.

He hails from the Kalwar caste, which is a part of the Vaishya community that comes under the backward class category.

The 52-year-old BJP leader has risen from the ranks of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), an affiliate of the RSS.

Prasad has been winning the Katihar constituency since October 2005.

He passed the Intermediate (10+2) exam in the science stream from DS College in Katihar in 1974 and has shown agriculture as his profession in the affidavit submitted during the recently-held elections.

Renu Devi is from the Noniya caste, which is an extremely backward class community.

She has been elected four times from Bettiah and was a minister during Nitish Kumar's second term as chief minister.

'Congratulations to Tarkishore jee for being unanimously elected as BJP legislature party leader,' Sushil Kumar Modi said in a tweet.

State BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal also hails from the Vaishya community.

BJP, which has traditionally been considered as the party of upper castes and Vaishyas/Baniyas, seems to consolidating its base, especially among Vaishyas and EBCs.

Out of 24 Vaishya/Baniya MLAs who won in the just-concluded assembly polls, 15 are from BJP.

Of the 19 EBC legislators elected this time, five are from the BJP while nine are of its ally JD(U).

Prasad said that as a dedicated BJP worker whatever responsibility is given to him he would try to perform with all dedication.

'I came to know about my selection only in the legislature party meeting. Whatever work is given to me by the party I will try to perform it sincerely,' he told reporters.

Renu Devi said she will follow the party's order. PTI AR SNS SOM SOM