After days of deliberations,Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje inducted 12 ministers into her team on Friday.
Gulab Chand Kataria,Rajendra Rathore,Kailash Meghwal,Nand Lal Meena,Yunus Khan,Gajendra Singh Khinvsar,Prabhu Lal Saini,Sanwar Lal Jat,Kalicharan Saraf were sworn in as cabinet ministers,while Arun Chaturvedi,Ajay Singh and Hem Singh Bhadana were inducted as ministers of state with independent charge at Raj Bhawan Friday afternoon. While names of those who were part of Rajes team during her tenure as CM between 2003 and 2008 were expected,inclusion Ajay Singh and Hem Bhadana came as a surprise.
Despite protests to keep legislators with criminal record out of the ministries,Raje included her trusted lieutenant Rathore and veteran leader Kataria. Rathore is named as prime accused in the Dara Singh fake encounter case,which is being heard in the Rajasthan High Court. Kataria is named in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case and is out on anticipatory bail.
Raje,who is said to have been given a free hand by BJP high command to select her team,encountered barely any rebellion on her choices post her thumping win in the Assembly polls. But a matter of concern for her is to appease community heavyweights,who will play a crucial role in the Lok Sabha elections. Therefore Fridays announcement came a week after Raje herself took oath on December 13. The remaining positions are expected to be filled gradually,with each name being carefully picked out by her.
Raje is now left with 14 ministerial berths,13 parliamentary secretary posts and four positions for speaker,deputy speaker,chief whip and deputy chief whip.