Haryana CM Khattar Allocates Portfolios, Keeps Home, Urban Planning

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday night allotted portfolios to the newly-inducted ministers three days after swearing-in.

While keeping the departments of home, power, town and country planning and information and public relations with Khattar, the other departments which not assigned to any ministers is also with him.

Two ministers, Ram Bilas Sharma and Captain Abhimanyu, who were contenders for the post of the first BJP chief minister in Haryana, seemed to have got the lion’s share in allocation of portfolios. They have been allotted nine and 13 departments respectively.

As Sharma has got education, transport, food and supplies, tourism, parliamentary affairs, hospitality, technical education and others, Captain Abhimanyu has been given finance, revenue, excise and taxation, forests, environment, industries, planning, law and others.

While O.P. Dhankar has been made agriculture and irrigation minister, Anil Vij is the health and sports minister. Narveer Singh is the minister for public works department (PWD) and public health engineering.

The lone woman minister in the 10-member ministry, Kavita Jain, is the social justice and woman and child development minister.

The three ministers of state (MoS), Vikram Singh Thekedar (cooperation-independent charge), Krishan Kumar Bedi (social justice) and Karan Dev Kamboj (food and supplies, transport, tourism and hospitality), were also allotted portfolios.

The nine ministers, including six cabinet ministers, one minister of state with independent charge and two ministers of state, who were sworn-in Sunday morning, continued to be without departments till almost 11 p.m. Tuesday, leading to criticism from the opposition Congress party.

The ministers were given official rooms in the state secretariat but none of them were allotted portfolios.

Chief Minister Khattar and the ministers were sworn-in Sunday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s top brass and chief ministers of the party-ruled states.

BJP sources said that the delay in allotting portfolios was due to some ministers seeking departments of their own choice. The chief minister went to New Delhi Tuesday to consult BJP leadership on the portfolio allocation.

“It is the third day today (Tuesday) after they were sworn-in. The ministers are holding meetings with officials and touring their areas without even knowing which departments come under them,” a newly-elected BJP legislator earlier told IANS.

Khattar has not even been able to appoint officers and staff of his choice in the chief minister’s office (CMO) too.

At least four cabinet ministers — Ram Bilas Sharma, Anil Vij, O.P. Dhankar and Captain Abhimanyu – were themselves in the race to be the first BJP chief minister in the state.

Meanwhile, after Devendra Fadnavis was elected as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Tuesday, sources reportedly claimed that after Fadnavis met the Governor, senior Shiv Sena leaders met him and has put forward a proposal to the BJP asking for assurance on portfolios.

(With inputs from IANS)

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