Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur retained key Home and Finance departments with him after the portfolios were alloted today. Besides Home and Finance, the chief minister will also look after the General Administration, Planning and Personnel department and all other departments not alloted to any minister. Mohinder Singh Thakur has been allocated Irrigation and Public Health, Horticulture and Sainik Welfare departments, while Kishan Kapoor will be in charge of Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and Election departments. First-time MLA Suresh Bharadwaj has been given Education (Elementary and Higher), Parliamentary Affairs and Law portfolios.
Anil Sharma, who quit the Congress to join the BJP ahead of the assembly polls, has been allocated Multipurpose Projects and Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources departments. The lone women minister Sarveen Chaudhary has been allocated Urban Development, Town and Country Planning and Housing departments, while Ram Lal Markanda will be in charge of Agriculture, Tribal Development and Information and Technology departments. Vipin Parmar has been given Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education, Ayurveda and Science & Technology, while Virender Kanwar will have Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries departments.
Vikram Singh has been given Industries, Labour and Employment, Technical Education and Vocational and Industrial Training, and Govind Singh Thakur has been allocated Forest, Transport, Youth Services and Sports departments. Rajiv Saizal has got Social Justice and Empowerment and Cooperation. Jai Ram Thakur was sworn in as the 14th chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, along with 11 other ministers, at a ceremony at the historic Ridge Ground here on December 27. Governor Acharya Devvrat administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 52-year-old Thakur, a five-time MLA from Seraj, and other ministers.
The council of ministers has six new faces. The assembly polls took place on November 9 and the results were announced on December 18. The BJP defeated the Congress by winning 44 seats in the 68-member assembly. The Congress managed to bag just 21 seats. Two seats went to Independents, while the CPI(M) won one seat.