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Eye on polls, CM hints at changes in cabinet

delhi Updated: Aug 15, 2012 00:51 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times
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Chief minister Sheila Dikshit appointed Mukesh Sharma as her parliamentary secretary on Tuesday.

The position had been lying vacant since March this year, when Tarvinder Singh Marwah resigned from the post over allegations of her daughter securing admission in a Delhi University college on a forged marksheet.

Sources said that Mukesh Sharma's elevation from spokesperson of Congress legislative party was an indication of bigger changes in the council of ministers and legislative set-up in Delhi - which may take place in the next few days.

Talking to TV channels, Dikshit also hinted at some changes in the departments which have "not been performing well".

Known as a vocal Sheila detractor, the four-time MLA from Uttam Nagar in west Delhi was appointed as spokesperson of the Congress legislative party earlier this year.

Sharma had severely criticised the Dikshit government when the public accounts committee of Delhi legislative assembly had indicted her government for bending rules and colluding with power distribution companies to "accrue monetary benefits" for them in 2005.

Sharma was among the three Congress MLAs who had protested against power tariff hike in August 2011 and had even sat on a dharna when power discoms had demanded a bailout package from the Delhi government.

After the debacle in the municipal elections, the Congress party had pinned all its hope on the regularisation of 1,218 unauthorised colonies - which were given provisional regularisation certificates ahead of 2008 assembly elections - to win back the electorate.

The Congress MLAs had identified poor progress in the regularisation process as the biggest reason for the party's defeat in the elections. More than 50 lakh people live in these unauthorised colonies.

Sources said Dikshit may target the UD department in the possible cabinet reshuffle.

Sources said Dikshit may also drop one or two ministers to accommodate new faces. The chief minister is likely to change the heads of some more departments to ensure equal distribution of work among her ministers.