Hooda Rewards All 7 Independents With Ministerial Berths, Kiran, Savitri Out

All the seven Independent MLAs, who bailed out the minority Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in Haryana during a confidence vote in the state assembly, were rewarded with ministerial berths during the expansion of the 13-day-old
hooda rewards all 7 independents with ministerial...
PTI November 08, 2009 12:28 IST

All the seven Independent MLAs, who bailed out the minority Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in Haryana during a confidence vote in the state assembly, were rewarded with ministerial berths during the expansion of the 13-day-old Congress ministry on Saturday. 

 With the induction of six Cabinet ministers and three Ministers of State, the size of the Hooda ministry has gone up to ten, including the chief minister.

Of the six Cabinet ministers sworn in by Governor Jagan Nath Pahadia at Raj Bhawan, five belong to Congress and one is an Independent MLA. All the three Ministers of State inducted today are independent MLAs.

The remaining three independent MLAs have been made Chief Parliamentary Secretaries, who were administered oath by the chief minister.

This was the first expansion of the fledgling ministry which came to power for the second consecutive time with the support of these Independent MLAs as the party was six short of majority in the 90-member House. Congress won 40 seats against 67 seats it bagged in 2005.

Hooda also administered oath to six Congress MLAs as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries as the state can have a maximum of 14 ministers in the Cabinet.

Of the 13 ministers in the previous Hooda government, only two -- Ajay Yadav and Randeep Surjewala -- have been retained. Another minister in the previous government -- Harmohinder Singh Chatha -- has been made the Assembly Speaker.

Since talks with Haryana Janhit Congress-BL leader Kuldeep Bishnoi on joining the government remained inconclusive, some ministerial slots have been left vacant to accommodate its legislators in case of an agreement with the six member party.

Besides, Ajay Yadav and Randeep Surjewala, the other Cabinet ministers sworn in today are -- Mahender Partap Singh, Paramvir Singh and Geeta Bukal (all Congress) and Om Parkash Jain, an independent MLA.

The three Independents sworn in as Ministers of State are Shiv Charan Sharma, Gopal Kanda and Sukhbir Kataria, who was sworn in later as he could not reach the Raj Bhawan in time.

The remaining three Independent MLAs sworn in as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries by Hooda at a separate function are Jaleb Khan, Prahlad Singh Gillan Khera and Sultan Singh.

The six Congress MLAs sworn in as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries include two women Sharda Rathore and Anita Yadav. The others are Ram Kishan Fauji, Rao Dan Singh, Dharam Vir and Jaiveer Balmiki.

In the newly constituted ministry Paramvir Singh, who was a Parliamentary Secretary in the previous regime, has been elevated as a Cabinet minister.

However, two women ministers in the previous regime -- Kiran Chaudhary and Savitri Jindal, mother of Congress MP Navin Jindal, who have won this time too -- have not been accommodated.

Cabinet expansion was delayed because the seven Independent MLAs, with whose support the fledgling Hooda ministry sailed through the confidence vote, jockeyed for plum postings.

The expansion ceremony scheduled for Friday was postponed at the last moment.

The newly inducted Haryana Ministers were allocated portfolios, with six-time Congress MLA Ajay Yadav becoming the State Finance Minister and the Independents, whose support is crucial for the ruling Congress, also managing some key departments.

Governor Jagan Nath Pahadia allocated the portfolios to the newly sworn in nine ministers - six Cabinet and three Ministers of State - belonging to the Congress (five) and Independents (four) on the recommendations of Hooda, an official spokesman said here this evening.

 Ajay Singh Yadav will hold the portfolios of Finance, Planning, Institutional Finance and Credit Control,Irrigation, Forests and Environment, he said here.

 In the previous Hooda regime, the Finance portfolio was handled by senior Congress leader Birender Singh, who lost the October 13 state assembly elections.

 Another senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala will hold the portfolios of Water Supply and Sanitation, Parliamentary Affairs, Electronics and Information Technology, Science and Technology and Public Works (Building and Roads) Department.

Mahender Partap Singh would hold the portfolios of Power, Renewable Energy,Labour and Employment, Food and Supplies, Urban Local Bodies and Industries and Commerce.

Om Parkash Jain, Independent MLA from Panipat Rural, has been rewarded with the portfolios of Transport, Tourism, Civil Aviation and Hospitality. PTI

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