Monday, April 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Rabri allocates portfolios
Congress not given key ministries

PATNA, April 2 (PTI) — Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi today allocated portfolios to members of her jumbo-size Council of Ministers, rejecting the demand by the coalition partner Congress for key Departments of Home, Finance and Agriculture.

The Congress, which had demanded certain important portfolios, had to be content only with a partial fulfilment of its demand when it was given charge of the Energy Ministry.

Ms Rabri Devi herself retained the Portfolios of Home (excluding Jails) and Finance (excluding Commercial Taxes and National Savings). Mr Ghulam Sarwar of the RJD was given charge of Agriculture Ministry.

Veteran trade union leader Rajendra Singh got the Energy Portfolio while Congress Legislature Party leader Furkan Ansari was given the Department of Road Constructions and Vishwamohan Sharma Industries.

Ms Veena Shahi, who had initially opposed the Congress supporting the RJD, was allocated the portfolio of Cooperative.

The party was also given portfolios of Health, Institutional Finance and Forest and Environment.

An Independent Madhav Lal Singh was rewarded for supporting the RJD in government formation in a hung assembly and was made the Minister for Labour, Employment and Training.

The portfolios were distributed a week after the Congress joined the ministry swelling its strength to 82.

Mrs Rabri Devi, who took the oath of Chief Minister on March 11 after the fall of the Nitish Kumar government, had included Mr Ramchandra Purve as Parliamentary Affairs Minister before she won the trust vote in the floor of the House on March 16.

The Chief Minister expanded her ministry on March 25 inducting 39 Cabinet ministers and 41 minister of state. Of these, 10 each were from the Congress, while Independents also found a place in the two-tier ministry.

Other important portfolios going to the Congress are Forest and Environment (Mr Manoj Kumar Yadav), Medical Education and Family Welfare (Dr Shakeel Ahmed), Institutional Finance and Programme Implementation (Dr Ashok Ram) and Tourism (Mr Chandrashekhar Dubey).

The 82-member two-tier ministry has 40 Cabinet ministers and 41 Ministers of State. Back


West Bengal Congress leaders reach Delhi

NEW DELHI, April 2 (UNI) — West Bengal Pradesh Congress President A.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury, former PCC chief Somen Mitra and other state Congress leaders arrived here tonight following summons from the high command to discuss the defeat of the official nominee in the just-concluded Rajya Sabha elections in the state.

Mr Chowdhury is expected to meet party President Sonia Gandhi tomorrow morning.Back

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