Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday assigned portfolios to his Cabinet members. The ministers had already taken oath on Tuesday.
Baghel kept the finance, mining, general administration, energy, public relations, electronics and information technology portfolios with himself, PTI reported. Any department that has not been allocated to a minister will also be under Baghel.
Senior leader Tamradhwaj Sahu will handle the crucial home department, besides public works department, jail, tourism and culture portfolios. The 69-year-old Sahu is the oldest minister in the Cabinet.
Another Congress veteran TS Singh Deo was given the portfolios of panchayat and rural development, health and family welfare, planning, economics and statistics, and commercial taxes.
Reports had claimed that Baghel and Deo, who were among the contenders for the chief minister’s post, had disagreements about the allocation of portfolios. Baghel was reportedly adamant on keeping the finance ministry with himself, while Deo had allegedly told the leadership that nothing less than the finance ministry would “suit his profile and stature”.
Mohammad Akbar has been allotted transport, forest, housing, environment, food and civil supplies, and consumer protection departments, while Umesh Patel was given the higher education, technical education, science and technology, sports and youth welfare departments. Patel, at 34, is the youngest member of the Cabinet.
Jaisingh Agrawal got revenue and disaster management, rehabilitation, registrar and stamp departments, while Anita Bhediya was handed the women and child development, and social welfare departments.
Ravindra Choubey will handle portfolios such as parliamentary work, law and legal affairs, agriculture and bio-technology, animal husbandry, fisheries and water resources, while Kawasi Lakhma got the commercial tax (excise) and industries departments. Shiv Kumar Dahariya will handle labour, urban administration and development departments, and Rudra Kumar Guru will take care of the public health engineering and village industries portfolios.
School education, scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, other backward class and minorities welfare, and cooperative departments were assigned to Premsai Singh Tekam.
Baghel took oath as chief minister on December 17 along with ministers TS Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu. He waived loans worth Rs 6,100 crore of 16.65 lakh farmers within hours of being sworn in. Earlier this month, the Congress had swept Chhattisgarh in the Assembly elections, winning 68 out of 90 seats to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party, which had been in power for 15 years. Baghel won from Patan by 27,477 votes.