Hisar MLA, Savitri Jindal (63) and Nuh legislator, Aftab Ahmed (47) were on Tuesday sworn in as cabinet ministers by governor, Jagannath Pahadia.
Jindal will be allocated the portfolio of Urban Local Bodies department while Ahmed will get the Transport berth. Both these portfolios are with the chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda at present.
Two-time MLA, Jindal is the chairperson Emeritus of Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) and mother of Kurukshetra MP, Naveen Jindal. She was first elected as MLA in a bypoll from Hisar assembly seat after her husband and steel tycoon, OP Jindal, who was the sitting MLA, died in a chopper crash in 2005.
On the other hand, a Meo Muslim, Ahmed is a first time MLA from Nuh assembly constituency in Mewat and is the son of former Haryana minister, Khurshid Ahmed. While Jindal read out the oath of office and secrecy in Devnagari, Ahmed took oath in English language.
Savitri Jindal was a minister of state in the previous Congress regime and held independent charge of urban local bodies, housing and later revenue department.
With the induction of Jindal and Ahmed on Tuesday, the number of ministers in the council has gone upto 14, which is the upper limit for number of ministers in the state. Two vacancies had fallen vacant after Independent MLAs- Om Prakash Jain (Panipat rural) and Gopal Kanda (Sirsa) were forced to tender their resignations following registration of separate criminal cases against them. Both belonged to Bania community.
Jindal also belongs to the Bania community, while Ahmed, a Meo Muslim, has been inducted in the cabinet to give representation to the Muslims in the cabinet. The decision to induct Ahmed in the cabinet is also triggered by the rebellious posture of Gurgaon MP, Rao Inderjit Singh. Three assembly segments in Gurgaon Parliamentary seat - Nuh, Ferozepur Zhirka and Punahana- have dominant Meo Muslim population and is a considered a strong votebank.
Order of precedence
The newly inducted cabinet minister Savitri Jindal and Aftab Ahmed are likely to be slotted at number 11 and 12 in the order of precedence behind co-operation minister, Satpal Sangwan. Two ministers of state, Shiv Charan Lal Sharma and Sukhbir Kataria will consequently get pushed to 13th and 14th slot.
However, if the chief minister wants, Jindal being a second time minister can be slotted at 7th slot in the order of precedence behind excise and taxation minister, Kiran Choudhary and ahead of first time cabinet ministers, Paramvir Singh, Geeta Bhukkal, Rao Narender and Satpal Sangwan.