Cabinet expansion likely before budget session, hints CM
The budget session of the state assembly will begin on February 26Updated: Feb 14, 2020 23:06 IST
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur on Friday hinted that the much-awaited cabinet expansion in the state may possibly take place before the budget session of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha .
The budget session of the state assembly will begin on February 26.
Speaking to journalists at Nurpur in Kangra district, the CM said the cabinet expansion was postponed time and again due to inevitable reasons.
“The matter was also discussed with the high command and the expansion will take place before the budget session,”said Thakur, adding that the new Vidhan Sabha will also be decided soon.
The post of speaker fell vacant after Rajeev Bindal stepped down to become the state BJP chief. Two cabinet berths fell vacant after power minister Anil Sharma quit the government after Congress fielded his son Ashray Sharma from Mandi Lok Sabha constituency in the parliamentary elections held in May this year.
Another cabinet position is up for grab as the former minister Kishan Kapoor was elected to the Lok Sabha. Three-term legislator from Nurpur of Kangra district Rakesh Pathania is among the front-runners for one of the two posts.
Pathania missed the cabinet berth during the government formation. He is among the most vocal legislators in the state assembly and has put his own government in the dock on several issues in the past.
Politically significant Kangra sends 15 legislatures to the 68-member state assembly. Pathania is the lone legislator in the race from Kangra. Another senior leader from Kangra and a former minister Ramesh Dhawala was also eyeing the cabinet berth but spoiled the chance after locking horns with state BJP organisational secretary Pawan Rana.
Narender Thakur son of BJP stalwart Late Jagdev Chanda Thakur is also keen for cabinet berth since Hamirpur district remains unrepresented in cabinet.
But the party insiders say that Thakur’s claims are not finding favour since he is just a two-time legislator .
Four time legislator from Poanta Sahib Sukhram Chaudhary is also in the race. Other names making round are that of Sundernagar legislator Rakesh Jamwal and Bhoranj MLA Kamlesh Kumari.