Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot today 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 yesterday 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.
The chief minister, along with the finance and home portfolios, 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 is under Mr. 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, Shanti Dhariwal retained urban development and housing, and parliamentary affairs, Lal Chand Kataria retained agriculture and Pramod Jain Bhaya retained mines and petroleum. BD Kalla and Parsadi Lal Meena were allocated education, and health and excise, respectively.
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 (tourism 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 Mr. Pilot for rebelling against Mr. Gehlot’s leadership. Vishvendra Singh in this expanded cabinet got back his old portfolio of tourism.
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 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 the rest of the ministers who took oath on Sunday are two-time MLAs.