Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Sunday distributed portfolios to his Cabinet colleagues keeping about 18 major departments including the PWD, Home, Law, Housing, Excise, Industrial Development, Forests and Wildlife and Information with him.
Mr. Bahuguna, who got the list of portfolios cleared by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday, seems to have kept the major departments with him to avoid a clash among Ministers from different pressure groups wanting the more ‘powerful' departments.
Talking to media persons here, Mr. Bahuguna said he would not draw pay or allowances as Chief Minister till he gets elected to the Assembly. He presently represents the Tehri constituency in the Lok Sabha.
Indira Hirdeyesh who was number two in the erstwhile Narain Dutt Tiwari Cabinet received 10 departments including Parliamentary Affairs, Finance, Stamps and Registration, Language and Protocol.
The State Congress president and former Speaker Yashpal Arya received Revenue and Land Management, Disaster Management and Rehabilitation, Irrigation, Flood Control, Watershed Management and Cooperatives.
Surendra Singh Negi, who trounced the former Bharatiya Janata Party Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri, got the prestigious Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology, Biotechnology and Cane Development.
While Pritam Singh of Chakrata fame was given Civil Supplies, Minor Irrigation, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Amrita Rawat, wife of Satpal Maharaj received Tourism, Horticulture, Culture, Women Empowerment and Child Development besides Non Conventional Energy Resources.
Dinesh Aggarwal, a first-time Minister, received Planning, Information Technology, Sports and Youth Welfare.
Mantri Prasad Naithani, the Congress rebel who supports the government as an Independent has got Agriculture, School Education, Adult Education, and Drinking Water. Pritam Singh Panwar, the lone Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (Panwar) MLA was given Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Civil Defence and Home Guards.
Harish Chandra Durgapal, another Congress rebel supporting the government as an Independent received Labour, Small Industries, Village Industries and Milk Development and Surendra Rakesh of the Bahujan Samaj Party got Social Welfare and Transport.