Virbhadra Singh allocates portfolios; keeps home, finance, education, tourism with himself

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Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Virbhadra Singh has allocated portfolios to the nine new ministers in his government, an official said at Shimla on Saturday.

A government spokesperson told that Mr. Singh kept with himself important portfolios like home, public works, tourism, finance and education. He said a notification in this regard was carried out by the government on Friday night.

Mrs. Vidya Stokes, a known apple grower in the state, has got irrigation, public health, horticulture, science and technology. Mr. Kaul Singh has been given health and family welfare, revenue, law and legal remembrance. The portfolios of transport, food and civil supplies, consumer affairs and technical education have been given to Mr. G.S. Bali. Mr. Sujan Singh Pathania has got multi-purpose projects, power and non-conventional energy besides agriculture department, while Mr. Thakur Singh Bharmouri has been given forest and fisheries portfolios. Industry, labour, employment and parliamentary affair departments have been given to first-time cabinet minister Mr. Mukesh Agnihotri. Journalist-turned-politician, Mr. Agnihotri has also got department of information and public relations. Another first time cabinet minister Mr. Sudhir Sharma has been given urban development, housing, town and country planning departments, while Mr. Prakash Chaudhary got excise and taxation, printing and stationery portfolios. Two time former Lok Sabha member and first time legislator Mr. Dhani Ram Shandil has been made social justice,empowerment and sainik welfare minister.

The ten member cabinet headed by Mr. Virbhadra Singh took oath of office and secrecy in Shimla on Dec 25. Official sources said that the cabinet still has two vacancies and these would be filled shortly.

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