Race for ministerial berths in HP cabinet begins, Kangra expected to get lion’s share
The state can have a maximum of 11 ministers in the cabinet, excluding the chief minister. With many bigwigs in the queue for ministerial berths, the new CM will have to strike a balance between caste, region and seniority.Updated: Dec 25, 2017 15:54 IST
With the BJP’s chief minister-elect Jairam Thakur set to form government on December 27, speculations are rife on who will make it to the new cabinet.
The state can have a maximum of 11 ministers in the cabinet, excluding the chief minister. With many bigwigs in the queue for ministerial berths, the new CM will have to strike a balance between caste, region and seniority.
As always, Kangra district will be hoping to get a lion’s share. Veteran leader Shanta Kumar has learnt to have thrown his weight behind former ministers Kishan Kapoor and Ramesh Dhawala. Sarveen Chaudhary is certain to be included in the ministry since other women legislators of the party are first timers.
Among Kapoor and Dhawala, chances are that both will get a ministerial berth. Kapoor belongs to the tribal Gaddi community, while Dhawala to the OBC. However, if the BJP choses Ram Lal Markanda, a former minister, for ministerial the post, Kishan Kapoor’s chances become bleak.Besides, another prominent leader from Kangra district, Bipan Singh Parmar is also reportedly being considered for the post of Vidhan Sabha speaker.
Amid all this, Nurpur legislator Rakesh Pathania may prove to be a dark horse as he is very close to Union health minister JP Nadda. If he is included in the cabinet, either Dhawala or Kapoor will go out. From Chamba district, Vikram Singh Jaryal is likely to be made deputy speaker of Vidhan Sabha.
From Una district Virender Kanwar, who has won the fourth consecutive term from Kutlehar assembly segment, is also in the race. Kanwar also has the support of state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti.
From Hamirpur district, Narender Thakur, son of former BJP stalwart Jagdev Chand Thakur, may be considered for a cabinet rank as he is being seen as the next big name from the district after Prem Kumar Dhumal. Similarly, from Mandi district, from where the CM-elect hails, senior leader Mahender Singh from Dharampur assembly segment is likely to get a ministerial berth.