English News


After a month Congress high command clears only 7 names for Sukhu Cabinet as infighting rages  

Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu (Photo: ANI)

Shimla: Finally, Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu will have his cabinet in place on Sunday. But, only seven ministers will be inducted instead of 10, said sources close to the Chief Minister late evening on Saturday.

The 33-yr Vikramaditya Singh, son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and two-time MLA from Shimla (rural) is among new ministers slated to join Sukhu Cabinet.

Rajbhawan officials confirmed later on Saturday that the swearing-in ceremony would be held at 10 am on Sunday.

The total size of the cabinet in Himachal Pradesh is 12, including the Chief Minister.

But with Chief Minister Sukhu, who took oath on December 11 along with Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri, having a filled two posts, Sukhu had submitted a list of 10 MLAs to fill the vacancies.

It is learnt that the high command approved only seven names due lack of consensus.

Sukhu had been under intense pressure from the MLAs for getting the cabinet berths. That was one of the key reasons for the delay in cabinet formation of the cabinet.

This has put the Congress under attack from the opposition BJP forcing Sukhu see that the cabinet formation should not get delayed anymore.

The Chief Minister arrived in Shimla from Delhi later Saturday after detailed discussions with party leaders including Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and AICC Rajiv Shukla.

“I have submitted my list of 10 names. Moment, I got a green signal that the cabinet expansion will be done” he said.

Insiders said the party high command asked Sukhu to go ahead with expansion but only seven ministers were inducted in the first phase.

Beside Vikramaditya Singh, some of the names likely to join the cabinet include Harshvardhan Chauhan, a six-time MLA from Shallai (Sirmaur) Chander Kumar, a former minister and also sixth time MLA from Jawali (Kangra), Jagat Singh Negi, former deputy Speaker and MLA from Kinnaur, Col (Rtd) Dhani Ram Shandil –a former minister and MLA from Solan and Rajesh Dharmani, third time MLA from Ghumarwin.

The list however has disappointed at least half a dozen other aspirants for the ministerial berths, especially few young MLAs.

Also read: Uncertainty in Himachal as CM Sukhu camps in Delhi to get Congress high command’s nod for Cabinet