Friday, April 19, 2019
facebook
Himachal

Posted at: Apr 15, 2019, 7:08 AM; last updated: Apr 15, 2019, 7:08 AM (IST)LOK SABHA POLLS 2019

Anil’s resignation kindles hope for many

Another ministerial berth to fall vacant if Kishan Kapoor wins | Cabinet expansion likely after poll
Anil’s resignation kindles hope for many
Anil Sharma

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 14

The resignation of Power Minister Anil Sharma from the Himachal Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has kindled fresh hope among ministerial aspirants. Another vacancy is likely in case Food and Civil Supplies Minister Kishan Kapoor wins Lok Sabha elections from Kangra.

Cabinet expansion is imminent after the Lok Sabha elections to fill vacant posts and “ministerial berths hanging as carrot” would trigger competition among MLAs to perform better in the polls, benefitting the party. The resignation of Anil Sharma has come as a shot in the arm for the Chief Minister as his maneuverability to handle disgruntled MLAs has increased. All 12 posts of ministers, including that of the Chief Minister, were filled when the BJP government was installed on December 27, 2017. Some senior leaders were left out, triggering strong resentment. 

Romesh Dhawala, a two-time minister, who played the role of a kingmaker in 1998 and Narinder Bragta, also a two-time minister, were denied berth in the Jai Ram Cabinet and posts of Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip were created.

Bragta was appointed Chief Whip while Dhawala was made Deputy Chairman of State Planning Board with Cabinet rank but both of them were reportedly feeling sidelined.

Besides Dhawala and Bragta, some senior legislators, including Rakesh Pathania, Bikram Singh Jaryal and Sukhram Chowdhary, have strong claim for induction in the Cabinet.

The BJP has 44 members in the 68-member house. Bilaspur and Hamirpur are not represented while Sirmaur and Chamba districts are being represented by the Speaker Rajiv Bindal and Deputy Speaker Hans Raj, respectively.

The Kangra district with 15 seats has four Cabinet ministers while Mandi district, which had three ministers, including the chief minister, has now only two ministers after Anil Sharma resigned.

Shimla, Solan, Una, Kullu and Lahaul and Spiti districts have one minister each while the lone seat in tribal Kinnaur district is with the Congress. The victory of Kishan Kapoor, who has replaced sitting MP Shanta Kumar as BJP candidate from Kangra, is crucial for Dhawala, an OBC as the Congress candidate Pawan Kajal is also from the OBC.

The BJP had won the highest number of 11 out of 15 seats in Kangra, nine out of 10 seats in Mandi, four out of five seats in Chamba, three out of eight seats in Shimla, three seats each in Bilaspur, Kullu, Una and Sirmaur and two seats each in Hamirpur and Solan. At present, six out of eleven ministers are Rajput and one each from Brahmin, Scheduled Caste (SC), Tribal, Other Backward Class (OBC) and Gaddi community.

The probables

  • Romesh Dhawala, a two-time minister, who played the role of a kingmaker in 1998, and Narinder Bragta, a two-time minister, were denied berth in the Jai Ram Cabinet.
  • Bragta was appointed Chief Whip while Dhawala was made Deputy Chairman of State Planning Board. However, both of them are reportedly feeling sidelined.
  • Besides Dhawala and Bragta, some senior legislators like Rakesh Pathania, Bikram Singh Jaryal and Sukhram Chowdhary have strong claim for induction into the Cabinet.

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On