Khattar expands Haryana Cabinet, inducts 10

The newly sworn-in Haryana ministers with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya in Chandigarh. (Express photo by Jasbir Malhi)

Nearly three weeks after taking oath as the Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday expanded his Council of Ministers by inducting 10 more members, including an one from ally Jannayak Janata Party and an independent.

This is the first expansion of the Cabinet after Khattar and his deputy Dushyant Chautala took oath on October 27. The induction of six Cabinet and four ministers of state now takes the strength of the ministry to 12. The state with a 90-member Assembly can have a maximum of 14 ministers.

Those inducted as Cabinet ministers include five BJP members — Anil Vij (Ambala Cantonment), former Speaker Kanwar Pal Gujjar (Jagadhri), Mool Chand Sharma (Ballabgarh), Jai Parkash Dalal (Loharu) and Banwari Lal (Bawal) — and the independent MLA from Rania, former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala’s estranged brother Ranjit Singh Chautala.

The new ministers of state are Om Prakash Yadav (Narnaul), Kamlesh Dhanda (Kalayat), Sandeep Singh (Pehowa), and JJP’s Anoop Dhanak (Uklana).

Later in the day, the portfolios were allotted, with Khattar keeping Town and Country Planning, Housing, Information Technology and General Administration, but shedding Home, which has gone to Vij.

A day before the cabinet expansion, Dushyant was allocated 11 portfolios including Excise and Taxation, Development and Panchayats, Revenue, Industries and Commerce, and Food and Civil Supplies.