Ending the three-day long wait since the swearing-in, CM Jai Ram Thakur Friday announced the portfolios of his ministers, retaining some of the important departments like Home, Finance, General Administration, Planning and Personnel with himself. The government released the list of portfolios after the CM reached Delhi on Friday. Thakur, along with 11 ministers, six of them new faces, had assumed office on December 27.
Apart from the major portfolios of Home, Finance, General Administration, Planning and Personnel, the Chief Minister has also retained departments like Public Works, Tourism, Excise and Taxation and Revenue. Seven-time MLA and former minister Mahender Singh gets Irrigation and Public Health, besides Horticulture and Sainik Welfare.
Kishan Kapoor, another former minister and Gaddi leader from Dharamshala, will be Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and Elections. Suresh Bhardwaj, a four-time MLA from Shimla, but a first-time minister, gets Education, Parliamentary Affairs and Law and Legal Affairs. Bhardwaj is also a former MP and former state BJP president. Another four-time MLA Virender Kanwar will be the Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
Third time MLA from Manali Govind Singh Thakur gets Forests, Transport, Youth Services and Sports. Dr Rajiv Saizal, a third time MLA from Kasauli and a Dalit face, has been made the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, besides the Department of Cooperation. Anil Sharma, a former minister in the Congress who joined the BJP before the elections, has been rewarded with the departments of Power and Multipurpose Projects, in addition to Non-Conventional Energy Sources. Son of former communication minister, Sharma had earlier held the department of rural development and panchayati raj.
Sraveen Chaudhary, only woman in the cabinet, has been given Urban Development, Town and Country Planning and Housing Department. An OBC leader, she had been a cabinet minister twice. Ram Lal Markanda a tribal from Lahaul-Spiti and a former minister has been given the portfolio of Agriculture, Information Technology and Tribal Affairs.
Among the new ministers, Vipin Parmar has been given the charge for Health, Medical Education, Ayurveda, Science and Technology. Vikram Singh has been given the charge of Industries, Labour and Employment, Technical Education, Vocational and Industrial Training.