22 Dec : Five tribal MLAs were sworn-in as ministers in CM Raman Singh’s 11-member cabinet in Chhattisgarh on Monday, BJP has 20 tribal MLAs out of its total tally of 50 in the 90-member assembly.
The council of ministers include a minister from Scheduled Caste category, two from Other Backward Class (OBC) and three others belonging to general category.
In the new cabinet, chief minister Raman Singh has retained seven old hands who were ministers in the previous government.They are Brijmohan Agrawal, Ramvichar Netam, Amar Agrawal, Hemchand Yadav, Lata Usendi, Rajesh Munat and Kedar Kashyap.
Besides, two tribal MLAs, Nankiram Kanwar and Vikram Usendi, who were ministers in Raman government last time but were removed from the ministry on different occasions, have also been given berths in the new cabinet.
Punnulal Mohile, a four-time Lok Sabha MP, who resigned from the parliament after winning this year’s assembly election from Mungeli in Bilaspur, is the lone SC minister in the cabinet.
Besides Mohile, Chandrasekhar Sahoo is the second new face in the cabinet. Sahoo, an OBC, reached the state assembly after defeating congress state president Dhandendra Sahu from Abhanpur constituency.
The five tribal ministers include Nankiram Kanwar, Ramvichar Netam, Kedar Kashyap, Vikram Usendi and Lata Usendi.Brijmohan Agrawal, Amar Agrawal and Rajesh Munat are from general category while Chandrasekhar Sahu and Hemchand Yadav will represent OBCs in the newly formed cabinet.
Though the ministers were administered oath of office, there was no declaration as to how many of them will have cabinet rank and how many have the minister of state rank.
There was also no allocation of portfolio today. A senior government functionary said the portfolio distribution would be complete in the next two days.