Himachal Cabinet expansion: Seven ministers take oath
Chief Minister Sukhu and Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri were sworn in on December 11
The Himachal Pradesh cabinet headed by Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu was expanded on Sunday with the induction of seven ministers, taking the total strength to nine.
Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar administered the oath to the newly inducted ministers at a ceremony at the Raj Bhawan.
The newly inducted ministers include eldest MLA Dhani Ram Shandil (82) from Solan, Chander Kumar from Jawali in Kangra district, Harshwardhan Chauhan from Shillai in Sirmaur district and Jagat Singh Negi from tribal Kinnaur district. Sandil defeated his son-in-law from the Solan assembly seat.
Rohit Thakur, Anirudh Singh and Vikramaditya Singh from Jubbal-Kotkhai, Kasumpti and Shimla (Rural) in Shimla district respectively were also among those inducted.
Besides the post of deputy speaker, three berths are still vacant as the maximum number of ministers, including the chief minister, cannot exceed 12.
Chief Minister Sukhu and Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri were sworn in on December 11. Sukhu earlier in the day said he has handed over the list of probables for induction in his ministry to the Congress high command for approval. The Congress is facing a daunting task due to the aspirations of various regions, castes and factions for representation. It also has to strike a balance while inducting old and new faces. So far, CM Sukhu has kept with himself Finance, General Administration, Home, Planning, Personnel and all other departments not allotted to any minister, while Deputy chief Minister Agnihotri holds Jal Shakti Vibhag, Transport and Language, Arts and Culture departments. The Congress has won 40 out of 68 assembly seats including four each in Una, Solan, and Hamirpur, three in Sirmaur, two each in Chamba and Kullu, and one each in Mandi, Bilaspur, Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts.