M A I N   N E W S

Haryana heads for Cabinet reshuffle
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The claims of the Delhi Police of working out a fool-proof case against former Minister of State for Home Gopal Goyal Kanda has cleared the way for a Cabinet reshuffle in Haryana.

Almost three years down its five-year term, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is no mood to further delay the changes in his Cabinet.

Besides filling two vacant slots in the ministry, there is a proposal to induct more parliamentary secretaries.

Highly places sources told Sunday Tribune that Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kuldip Sharma is keen to step down from his position to occupy one of the two vacancies in the Cabinet.

He has the support of former minister Vinod Sharma who is willing to let Kuldip take the position that “belongs to him due to his seniority”. But to avoid bad publicity from Manu Sharma “bashers”, he has given a nod to Kuldip’s name.

The second name being considered for filling Kanda’s vacancy is Hisar MLA Savitri Jindal, who is the mother of industrialist-cum-MP Navin Jindal.

Before Kanda resigned, another vacancy in the Cabinet had been created due to the ouster of the then Transport Minister OP Jain.

Balbir Pal Shah is yet another name that is doing the rounds for induction into the Cabinet. But it is learnt that Jain is opposing Shah who belongs to the same area. Jain’s apprehension is that if Shah becomes a minister, it may undermine his political career.

In the exercise that is likely to see some reshuffle in portfolios, no current minister faces the risk of being dropped.

According to sources, Sampat Singh may take the place of Kuldip Sharma.

With these changes, the Hooda Cabinet will become representative of all communities - Jindal is a ‘Bania’ while Sharma is a Brahmin, both of which are unrepresented so far.

There are also talks that the slot vacated by Zila Ram Sharma as Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) will be filled in the next fortnight. There is no cap on the number of CPSes that a state can have, so there are many names doing the rounds.

The Hooda government will complete three years in November so the Chief Minister’s attempt will be to fill all vacancies. These include the Haryana Public Service Commission, two slots of Information Commissioners and scores of chairmen of boards and corporations and improvement trusts that have not been filled for the past three years on account of differences within the Congress.

Likely changes

  • Slots of Minister of State for Home Gopal Goyal Kanda and Transport Minister OP Jain vacant
  • The names of Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kuldip Sharma, Hisar MLA Savitri Jindal and Balbir Pal Shah doing the rounds
  • Sampat Singh may take the place of Kuldip Sharma
  • No current minister faces the risk of being dropped.





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