Two Cabinet berths to be filled soon: Jaju | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Two Cabinet berths to be filled soon: Jaju

“Two cabinet berths lying vacant for the past about five months will be filled soon. Similarly, the minister-level responsibilities could also be distributed among party workers any time before the local body polls due early next year,” BJP national vice president and the party’s state in-charge Shyam Jaju said

dehradun Updated: Aug 29, 2017 21:09 IST
Deep joshi
Deep joshi
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Shyam Jaju,Cabinet berths
Jaju said the final call on filling the two vacant cabinet berths was the chief minister’s constitutional prerogative.(HT FILE PHOTO)

DEHRADUN: Two ministerial berths lying vacant will soon be filled in Uttarakhand, a top BJP leader has revealed.

“Two cabinet berths lying vacant for the past about five months will be filled soon. Similarly, the minister-level responsibilities could also be distributed among party workers any time before the local body polls due early next year,” BJP national vice president and the party’s state in-charge Shyam Jaju said

Jaju added the final call on filling the two vacant cabinet berths was the chief minister’s constitutional prerogative. The statement came amid reports that Rawat was under pressure from party legislators to fill the two Cabinet berths.

If fact, the reports of the resentment brewing among the BJP ranks had started doing the rounds since chief minister Rawat constituted his 10-member Cabinet after the BJP won the assembly polls in March. As the BJP won 57 of the 70 seats, the massive mandate also fuelled expectations of its legislators.

But Rawat constituted only a 10-member Council of Ministers leaving most of the ministerial aspirants disappointed. In fact, supporters of senior BJP leader and former assembly speaker Harbansh Kapoor held a demonstration against the chief minister’s decision. Another BJP veteran and former minister Bishen Singh Chuphal was stated to be unhappy after he failed to get a Cabinet berth.

Equally unhappy was Pushkar Singh Dhami, a Thakur by caste and the party’s only youth face from Kumaon. Most Rajput legislators from Kumaon were disappointed as their community went unrepresented in the Council of Ministers.

BJP spokesperson Vinay Goyal refuted the allegations about the CM failing to strike a caste or regional balance. “There is no substance in such allegations,” he said adding that Raghunath Singh Chauhan, a BJP legislator and the party’s Rajput face from Kumaon, was given the post of the assembly deputy speaker.

Goyal said there was nothing wrong in the ruling party legislators eyeing the ministerial berths. “But the chief minister’s hands too are tied because as per the constitutional provisions, he can accommodate only 15% of the party’s total elected legislators in his Cabinet.”

In the next Cabinet rejig too, he said, the chief minister would be able to accommodate only two more party legislators. “The rest would still feel disappointed owing to their unfulfilled personal ambitions. Such things (personal ambitions) do not affect the party.”

He cited the example of Gujarat when it was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “As a chief minister, Modiji could not accommodate all legislators in his Cabinet. Nor could the party distribute the minister-level responsibilities among all its workers,” Goyal said, adding yet the BJP under Modi continued to win the assembly elections. “Similarly, if our local legislators or party workers fail to get positions they are looking for that won’t affect the BJP’s electoral fortunes in any of the coming polls.”

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 21:09 IST