Ahead of Haryana cabinet rejig, Dushyant Chautala gets 11 departments

Chandigarh: Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala got 11 important departments on Wednesday, a day before the first expansion of the Manohar Lal Khattar-led cabinet.

Khattar (65), who took oath as the chief minister for the second time on October 27, and Dushyant Chautala (31), who was sworn-in as his deputy, are the only two members of the present cabinet.

On the advice of the chief minister, the governor allocated the departments to the existing council of ministers, according to an official order.

The BJP had formed government in the state with the help of the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) led by Chautala, the great grandson of former deputy prime minister late Devi Lal.

The seven Independents are also supporting the government. The 11 portfolios allocated to Chautala include the excise and taxation, development and panchayats, industries and commerce, and food and civil supplies departments, the order said.

The other departments which he will hold are the revenue and disaster management, public works, labour and employment, civil aviation, archeology and museum, and rehabilitation and consolidation, it said.

For the moment, Chief Minister Khattar will hold all the departments except those allocated to Chautala. When the cabinet will be expanded on Thursday, some of the portfolios held by Khattar will be distributed among the new ministers.

The Haryana cabinet can have 14 members, including the chief minister and the deputy chief minister.

"Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the Haryana ministers at the Haryana Raj Bhawan on Thursday," an official spokesperson said.

Khattar also held a meeting with his MLAs and invited the seven Independents supporting the government for dinner on Wednesday.

The BJP and the JJP have factored out various permutations and combinations to give wider representation to all sections and regions of the state in the first expansion, sources said.