Uttarakhand cabinet expansion seeks regional balance between Kumaon and Garhwal

Updated on Mar 12, 2021 08:18 PM IST

In the earlier eight-member cabinet, five MLAs were from Garhwal, while three hailed from Kumaon.

Bansidhar Bhagat takes oath as a minister during the expansion of the Uttarakhand cabinet in Dehradun on Friday. (ANI Photo)
Bansidhar Bhagat takes oath as a minister during the expansion of the Uttarakhand cabinet in Dehradun on Friday. (ANI Photo)
By, Dehradun

The cabinet expansion by the newly-appointed Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat is seen as an act of balancing the regional equation in state politics by inducting two legislators each from Garhwal and Kumaon regions and increasing the representations of the districts from five to eight.

The new cabinet inductees include Swami Yateeswaranand from Haridwar and Ganesh Joshi from Mussoorie in Dehradun in Garhwal region.

From Kumaon region, the new cabinet inductees include Vishan Singh Chuphal from Didihat in Pithoragarh and Bansidhar Bhagat from Kaladungi in Nainital.

In the earlier eight-member cabinet, five MLAs were from Garhwal, while three hailed from Kumaon.

There were eight ministers in the previous cabinet, of which one, Madan Kaushik, was appointed state BJP president on Friday. The other seven ministers of the previous government, who have been retained, include three from Pauri Garhwal, and two from US Nagar districts.

Also read: Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat gets new cabinet with 4 new faces


In the new eleven-member cabinet, there is a difference of just one minister between Kumaon and Garhwal, while in the previous council there was a difference of two ministers between the two regions.

In the previous cabinet, five ministers were from Garhwal and three from Kumaon. This time, six ministers are from Garhwal and five from Kumaon. When it comes to hilly and plain areas, six are from hill districts and five from plain districts.

There were also expectations that the cabinet would have one more woman minister besides Rekha Arya. Sources said Ritu Khanduri from Yamkeshwar in Pauri Garhwal, whose name was making rounds for inclusion in the cabinet, could not find a place for herself as there were already three ministers from Pauri Garhwal and her inclusion would have offset the regional dynamics.

The cabinet expansion has given more representation to districts this time. Trivendra Singh Rawat's government had only five districts that were represented in the cabinet including three from Pauri district. This time around, eight of the thirteen districts have found representation in the cabinet.

Anoop Nautiyal, who analysed the two cabinets, said that he was hoping that women representation in the cabinet would increase to at least two. “But that has not happened. But I am happy that representations of the districts have increased from five to eight in the new cabinet,” he said.

Historian and political analyst Shekhar Pathak said Uttarakhand politics is dominated by regional dynamics and whichever party comes to power, they have to strike a balance between the two regions. “As the state has thirteen districts, the balance can never be 100 per cent. But despite all challenges, whether it is rebellion or under-representation of one or more districts, at the regional level it is their political compulsion to strike a balance. Otherwise, it can have repercussions in the election results,” he said.

The ministers who hail from Kumaon in the new cabinet include Bansidhar Bhagat from Kaladhungi in Nanital, Vishan Singh Chuphal from Didihat in Pithoragarh district,

Rekha Arya from Someshwar in Almora, Yashpal Arya from Bajpur in US Nagar and Arvind Pandey from Gadarpur in US Nagar.

Ministers who hail from Garhwal in the new cabinet include Satpal Maharaj from Chaubattakhal in Pauri Garhwal, Subodh Uniyal from Narendranagar in Tehri Garhwal district, Dhan Singh Rawat from Srinagar in Pauri Garhwal, Harak Singh Rawat from Kotdwar in Pauri Garhwal and Satpal Maharaj from Chaubattakhal in Pauri Garhwal.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    He is principal correspondent based at Bhopal. He covers environment and wildlife, state administration, BJP and other saffron organisations. He has special interest in social issues based stories.

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