Hours ahead of the Cabinet expansion, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced the names of six MLAs as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on January 8 expanded his Cabinet by inducting seven MLAs as ministers, besides six legislators were appointed as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPS).
The Ministers took the oath of office and secrecy at a swearing-in ceremony held in Shimla. The oath was administrated by Himachal Pradesh Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar at the Raj Bhawan.
The Ministers who have found a place in the cabinet include— Dhani Ram Shandil, Chander Kumar, Harshwardhan Chauhan, Jagat Singh Negi, Rohit Thakur, Anirudh Singh, and Vikramaditya Singh, son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
Hours ahead of the Cabinet expansion, the Chief Minister announced the names of six MLAs as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPS). They were administrated the oath of office by the Chief Minister in the State secretariat. The CPSs include—Sundar Thakur, Ram Kumar, Ashish Butail, Kishori Lal, Mohan Lal Brakta, and Sanjay Awasthi.
Interestingly, the Chief Minister had given a list of ten legislators to the party’s ‘high command’ to be inducted as ministers. However, only seven ministers were inducted into the Cabinet. Party insiders said that the ‘party high command’ had reservations over finalising all the ten names at one go. After the first expansion, the cabinet could be expanded at a later stage, keeping in mind the 2022 parliamentary election.
It was the first cabinet expansion of the Congress government, which came into power in December 2022, after bagging 40 seats in the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly. On December 11, Mr. Sukhu took oath as the Chief Minister of the State and Mukesh Agnihotri as Deputy Chief Minister, and since then the cabinet expansion is awaited.
There can be a maximum of 12 ministers in Himachal Pradesh, including the Chief Minister.