HP government violates provisions of law of cabinet size limit


State government violated provisions of law of cabinet size limit as state allowed to induct maximum 12 cabinet members excluding Chief Minister but three chairman had been given cabinet ranks and nine chief parliamentary secretaries had inducted in the 11 member cabinet presently, the opposition BJP alleged.

“The state government seemed to fit the objective of limiting cabinet size as it could induct maximum 15% cabinet members of 68 number legislature in the state”, Mr. Arun Dhumal, younger son of opposition leader and former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal alleged while interacting with media persons here recently.

“The law passed during Vajpayee’s NDA government seemed to lost its relevance in the state as Mr. Singh’s government inducted nine chief parliamentary secretaries so far and number of chairmen and voice chairmen as three of them were given cabinet rank”, Mr. Dhumal said.

Implementing the provisions of this act small states like Himachal Pradesh allowed to keep one minister more from than stipulated 11 member cabinet size despite one birth was still laying vacant whatever may be the reason but it seemed lost the provision of this act as three chairmen have been given cabinet ranks.

It is worthwhile to mention here that Mr. Singh has again succeeded to appoint his loyalists at plum posts in government, even after most of them lost assembly election.

Recently government has designated Gangu Ram Musafir, a close confident of Mr. Singh as Deputy Chairman of State Planning Board in the rank of Cabinet Minister. Mr. Musafir is a senior Congress leader from Pachhad of Sirmaur district and had lost recent 2012 assembly elections to BJP candidate Suresh Kashyap with more than 1,600 votes. He had won this seat for record of six times earlier since 1982.

Another Virbhadra loyalist Kuldeep Kumar, MLA, Chintpurni was appointed as chairman of the 4th H.P. State Finance Commission in the rank of Cabinet Minister. Kuldeep Kumar had lost previous assembly elections from Gagret assembly segment and now he has been elected from adjoining Chintpurni segment.

Earlier, Mr. Singh has appointed Ram Lal Thakur, who had lost assembly election from Naina Devi assembly segment was also appointed as chairman of State level Planning Development and 20-Point Programme Committee. Ram Lal Thakur has also lost assembly poll by margin of 1,385 votes in Naina Devi constituency from MLA of BJP Randhir Sharma.

Mr. Dhumal alleged that it is burdening the state exchequer, moreover pace of development has came to absolute halt under the Congress rules.

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