Wednesday, April 21

Uttarakhand CM expands state cabinet: 11 ministers take oath

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A total of 11 ministers, including eight of cabinet rank, and the rest ministers of state, were administered the oath of office and secrecy by governor Baby Rani Maurya in a function at Raj Bhawan on Friday evening. Out of the 11, four are new faces in the present government although all of them have been legislators for two or more occasions.

The list of cabinet ministers includes Satpal Maharaj (who represents the Chaubattakhal seat), Bansidhar Bhagat (Kaladhungi), Harak Singh Rawat (Kotdwar), Bishan Singh Chuphal (Didihat), Yashpal Arya (Bajpur), Arvind Pandey (Gadarpur), Subodh Uniyal (Narendranagar) and Ganesh Joshi (Mussoorie). The ministers of state with independent charge are Dhan Singh Rawat (Srinagar), Rekha Arya (Someshwar) and Yastishwaranand (Haridwar-rural).

While five ministers — Satpal Maharaj, Harak Singh Rawat, Subodh Uniyal, Ganesh Joshi and Dhan Singh Rawat are from Garhwal, another five — Bansidhar Bhagat, Yashpal Arya, Bishan Singh Chuphal, Arvind Pandey and Rekha Arya are from Kumaon. Yatishwaranand represents the Haridwar (plains) area. With this combination, political observers said that the new CM has tried to strike an equal balance between Garhwal and Kumaon which was lacking in the Trivendra Rawat government where out of the eight ministers (six cabinet rank, 2 MoS), one was from Haridwar, four were from Garhwal and three from Kumaon.

While all the ministers took oath in Hindi, Pandey who had held the education portfolio in the Trivendra Rawat government, took the oath of office in Sanskrit. Minister of state Rekha Arya was dressed in a traditional Kumaoni outfit for the ocassion. The portfolios for the 11 ministers are likely to be announced on Saturday. Chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat said that he was hopeful that all the ministers will work in co-ordination for the betterment of the state and help build a new Uttarakhand. “I am confident that I will get everyone’s support to take the state on the path of constant development,” he added.