Jaipur, Nov 22 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday allocated portfolios to ministers of his expanded cabinet, retaining home and finance with him.
Twelve new ministers were inducted and three ministers of state were elevated to the cabinet rank.
The 15 ministers were sworn in on Sunday for the expanded Gehlot cabinet, fulfilling a key demand of former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot whose rebellion last year shook the state’s Congress government.
Along with the finance and the home portfolios, the chief minister has kept taxation, personnel, general administration, cabinet secretariat, information and public relation, and information technology and communication.
The department for NRI and the Rajasthan State Investigation Bureau are under Gehlot.
Following the expansion, the council of ministers in the state has 19 cabinet ministers and 10 ministers of state. The Rajasthan cabinet can have a maximum of 30 ministers, including the chief minister.
From the old cabinet — Pratap Singh Khachariyawas was allocated food and civil supplies, while Lal Chand Kataria retained agriculture, Pramod Jain Bhaya mines, Saleh Mohammad minority affairs, Udai Lal Anjana cooperative and Shanti Dhariwal urban development and housing, and parliamentary affairs.
Khachariyawas was earlier transport minister.
BD Kalla, who was minister for energy, and public health and engineering department (PHED) in the old cabinet, was given education (primary and secondary), which earlier with Govind Singh Dotasras, who has been dropped as minister of state.
Dotasras resigned following the Congress’ “one man, one post” policy. He is the party’s Rajasthan chief.
Kalla has retained the arts, literature and archaeology portfolio, and in addition to education (primary and secondary), has also got the Sanskrit education department, which was earlier with minister of state Subhash Garg.
Parsadi Lal Meena, who was industries minister in the old cabinet, was given the portfolios of medical and health, and excise. Raghu Sharma was the health minister, but was dropped from the cabinet, while the excise portfolio was with the chief minister earlier.
Sharma quit as minister in line with the Congress’ “one man, one post” policy as he has been appointed All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Gujarat.
The new ministers who got portfolios in the cabinet rank include Hemaram Choudhary (forest), Mahesh Joshi (PHED), Ramlal Jat (revenue), Ramesh Meena (panchayati raj and rural development), Vishvendra Singh (toursim and civil aviation), Govindram Meghwal (disaster management and relief) and Shakuntala Rawat (industries) and Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya (water resources).
Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena were sacked last year from the Rajasthan cabinet along with Pilot for rebelling against Gehlot. While Vishvendra Singh in this expanded cabinet got back his old portfolio of tourism, Ramesh Meena got the panchayati raj and rural development portfolios, which were earlier with Pilot.
Pilot and 18 other MLAs rebelled against Gehlot last year.
The revenue portfolio, which was allocated to Ramlal Jat, was earlier with Harish Chaudhary, who resigned following the Congress’ “one man, one post” policy, as he is AICC in-charge for Punjab.
Mamta Bhupesh was allocated women and child development, Bhajan Lal PWD, Tikaram Jully social justice and empowerment, as they were elevated to cabinet rank from minister of state.
The newly inducted ministers of state and their portfolios are Brijendra Ola (transport, devasthan and state enterprises), Murari Lal Meena (agriculture marketing, estate, tourism and civil aviation) and Rajendra Singh Gudha (sainik kalyan, home guards, panchayati raj and rural development).
Zahida Khan (science and technology, printing and stationary, primary and secondary education, art, literature and culture) is also a new minister of state in the Gehlot cabinet.
The ministers of state from the old cabinet who retained their portfolios are Arjun Singh Bamaniya (tribal area development), Ashok Chandna (sports and youth affairs) and Subhash Garg (technical education).
Those who got new portfolios are Sukhram (revenue and labour), Bhanwar Singh Bhati (power-independent charge) and Rajendra Yadav (higher education).
In the new and expanded cabinet, the three women ministers are Mamta Bhupesh and Shakuntala Rawat (cabinet rank) and Zahida (minister of state).
Cabinet minister Mahesh Joshi is also chief whip while Minister of State Brijendra Ola is the son of former Union minister Sisram Ola.
Minister of State Rajendra Gudha is one of the six MLAs who defected from BSP to the Congress.
Among the 15 ministers who took oath on Sunday, Hemaram Choudhary is the senior-most MLA. He is a six time MLA.
Ramlal Jat is a four-time MLA; Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya, Vishvendra Singh, Ramesh Meena, Brijendra Ola and Murari Meena are three-time MLAs, while rest of the ministers who took oath on Sunday are two-time MLAs.