Champion seeks OBC berth in Uttarakhand cabinet

dehradun Updated: Jan 16, 2018 22:06 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion,OBC berth,Uttarakhand cabinet

Chief minister TS Rawat at the BJP meeting in Dehradun on Tuesday.(Vinay S Kumar/ HT Photo)

The discontentment among legislators over “non-distribution of ministerial responsibilities” in Uttarakhand continues with another MLA raising his voice over the issue. Khanpur legislator Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion on Monday said that the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community should be given representation in the cabinet.

“In Uttarakhand, we have a semblance of all the caste and religions. And in the cabinet we see grossly OBC has been neglected. The OBC population in state is about 24% and not a single representation is in the cabinet,” said Champion, talking to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of core committee meeting at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in Dehradun on Tuesday.

Ten months after the BJP came to power in Uttarakhand winning 57 of the 70 assembly seats, two cabinet berths are still lying vacant. At present, there is hardly any indication from the government to fill the vacant posts, which has increased the frustration of hopeful MLAs.

Champion said that non-inclusion of any OBC candidate in the cabinet has caused discontentment among the community, which has been a vote bank of the saffron party. “We have shared this issue with the party high command and it’s the prerogative of the party heads to ensure OBC representation in the cabinet,” he added.

Champion is not the only leader to voice his concern over the delay in distribution of ministerial responsibilities. Last week, senior BJP leader and Didihat legislator Bishen Singh Chufal had also expressed his disappointment over lack of Kumaon Rajputs’ representation in the cabinet.

In December, state BJP president Ajay Bhatt had claimed that the vacant cabinet berths would be filled by mid-January, but it’s not happening. “Everyone is of view that the responsibilities shall be distributed in future,” he told media persons in Dehradun.

Presently, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat’s cabinet has seven ministers — Satpal Maharaj, Madsan Kaushik, Harak Singh Rawat, Prakash Pant, Yashpal Arya, Arvind Pandey and Subodh Uniyal. Besides, there are two ministers of state with independent charge in Rekha Arya and Dhan Singh Rawat.

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 22:06 IST