In what seems to be an attempt to keep resentment among her cabinet colleagues at bay, at least till the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit avoided making too many changes in portfolio allocated to her cabinet colleagues.
Apart from home and higher education, which was there with her in the previous government, this time Dikshit has included some challenging departments like power, tourism and environment to her portfolio. These departments would require special attention in view of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The three CM detractors in the cabinet — Dr AK Walia, Haroon Yusuf and AS Lovely who had rebelled against her when the multi-crore land scam rocked her government last year — were surprisingly not sidelined.
While Dr AK Walia, the senior-most minister in the cabinet, has been given urban development along with finance and planning, Arvinder Singh Lovely has been given additional responsibility of transport apart from education, which he handled quite efficiently last year.
Ironically, it is Raj Kumar Chauhan, a Dikshit loyalist, who has been divested of the important urban development portfolio. He retains public works, revenue, irrigation and flood control.
Kiran Walia, the only fresh face in the cabinet and a confidant of the chief minister, has been given important portfolios of health and family welfare and women and child development.
Walia has replaced Yoganand Shastri, the former health minister.
The biggest loser in the portfolio allocation seems to be Mangat Ram Singhal. Minister of Industries in the previous term, this time he has been given low-profile ministries like social welfare, labour and employment, law justice and legislative affairs, and elections.
Dikshit has given industries to Haroon Yusuf who lost his transport ministry to Lovely. Yusuf, however, has retained the department of food and civil supplies.
Sources said that Dikshit has given important departments to most efficient and capable ministers.