Khimi Ram sworn in as cabinet minister in Himachal | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Khimi Ram sworn in as cabinet minister in Himachal

Former Himachal BJP president and Deputy Speaker Khimi Ram was sworn in as a minister in Prem Kumar Dhumal government at an impressive ceremony at Raj Bhavan here today morning.

chandigarh Updated: Feb 23, 2012 16:25 IST

Former Himachal BJP president and Deputy Speaker Khimi Ram was sworn in as minister in Prem Kumar Dhumal government at an impressive ceremony at Raj Bhavan here on Thursday morning.

Governor Urmila Singh administered the oath to the 63-year-old Ram, who fills the vacancy caused by the resignation of former forest Minister JP Nadda who has been appointed BJP national general secretary.

Ram was recently removed as state BJP president by the party high command after a faction broke away.

Khimi Ram, a Trained Graduate Teacher since 1973, has been elected twice from Banjar Assembly segment in Kullu. He was appointed Deputy Speaker of state Assembly in 2008 and given charge of BJP party president's post in 2009.

The function was attended by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, members of his cabinet and officials even as most ministers and MLAs belonging to Shanta Kumar camp were conspicuous by their absence.

On the absence of BJP vice-president Shanta Kumar, Industry Minister Kishan Kapoor, MLA Vipin Singh Parmar, local MLAs Suresh Bhardawaj and Khushi Ram Balnatah and even Leader of the Opposition Vidya Stokes from the ceremony, Dhumal said that most of the invited dignitaries could not attend as the expansion was announced in a hurry on Wednesday.

He brushed aside the opposition charges that his government was discriminating against Kangra, the largest populated district in the state.

Dhumal said that the BJP had given representation to four MLAs from Kangra in the cabinet while the erstwhile Virbhadra Singh government had sacked three ministers from the district.

He did not rule out the possibility of further expansion of the ministry in the remaining 10 months of this Assembly.

It was the second expansion of the Dhumal government which now comprises 12 members along with the CM.