Newly-appointed Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Tirath Singh Rawat on Friday expanded his cabinet inducting 11 new ministers.
Satpal Maharaj, Bansidhar Bhagat, Harak Singh Rawat, Bishan Singh Chuphal, Yashpal Arya, Arvind Pandey, Ganesh Joshi, Subodh Uniyal took oath as cabinet ministers.
Rekha Arya, Dhan Singh Rawat, Swami Yatishwaranand were sworn-in ministers with Independent charge.
The Uttarakhand cabinet can have 12 ministers but two berths have remained vacant since the BJP government came to power in 2017. Another fell vacant after the demise of Finance Minister Prakash Pant in June 2019. These berths have remained vacant despite repeated discussions and party MLAs have been upset about it. This was also one of the reasons for the ouster of former chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Meanwhile, the saffron party has appointed senior leader Madan Kaushik as the president of its Uttarakhand unit. Banshidhar Bhagat, the current of chief of the BJP’s Uttarakhand unit, could be made a minister in the Tirath Singh Rawat Cabinet.
Madan was Cabinet minister under Trivendra Singh Rawat who regined from the CM’s job earlier this week. A four time MLA from Haridwar constituency, madan also served as the Cabinet minister in 2007-2012 BJP government. He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2002 and subsequently in 2007, 2012 and 2017.
Banshidhar represents the Kaladhungi Kaladhungi seat from Nainital district.