Eleven ministers, including five tribals, of the BJP government led by Dr Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh were administered oath of office in Raipur by the Governor ESL Narasimhan on Monday.
The Bhartiya Janata Party has tried to focus on caste consideration and ensure regional balance while short listing the names for the new council of ministers.
Raman Singh has two new faces in his team and the attempt was made to give fair representation to Bastar region where the party performed remarkably well winning 11 out of the 12 seats. Three, including a woman legislator, out of the 11 ministers who were sworn in today are from Bastar.
The chief minister later declared that the Speaker of the House will be a senior party MLA Dharamlal Kaushik. "The allocation of portfolios to the ministers would be finalised by evening today", the CM said.
There are only two new faces in the new council of ministers: Punnulal Mohile, a four times Lok Sabha member from Bilaspur and Chandrashekhar Sahu who defeated the Congress President Dhanendra Sahu.
The ruling party has decided to keep one ministerial berth (portfolio) and a post of deputy speaker vacant to assuage any possibility of resentment that may arise among the elected party legislators later. "We will decide on the two vacant positions in future", stated Raman Singh. There could be only 13 ministers including the chief minister in the 90-member House in Chhattisgarh.
The cabinet ministers include Nankiram Kanwar, Brijmohan Agrawal, Rajesh Munnat, Ramvichar Netam, Punnulal Mohile, Chandrashekhar Sahu, Amar Agrawal, Vikram Usendi, Hemchand Yadav, Kedar Kashyap and Lata Usendi.
The chief minister further told that the state government will also have 5-6 parliamentary secretaries.