Rajasthan cabinet ministers take oath

December 19th, 2008 - 5:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiJaipur, Dec 19 (IANS) Thirteen newly-elected legislators of the Rajasthan assembly Friday took oath as members of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s council of ministers.Governor S.K. Singh administered the oath of office to 11 cabinet ministers and two ministers of state at the Raj Bhawan here.

Bina Kak, Bharat Sing, Shanti Dhariwal, Hema Ram Choudhary, Mahipal Maderna, Harji Ram Burdak, Parasadi Lal Meena and Aimaduddin alias Duru Miyan are among the members of the new cabinet.

Four of the 13 ministers are independents who are supporting the Congress, including Golma Devi, wife of Meena community leader K.L. Meena.

The formation of the cabinet came as a surprise to many.

“Till Thursday evening the formation of the ministry Friday was not on cards. However, at night Congress president Sonia Gandhi gave a free hand to Gehlot on cabinet formation and the chief minister decided to go ahead with finalising the ministers,” a party source said.

After the oath taking ceremony, Gehlot told reporters that the ministry might be expanded after the government seeks a vote of confidence in the state assembly.

“The governor has given us a month to prove majority and soon after that we might expand the ministry,” he said.

The chief minister said his priority would be to work on the basis of the election manifesto, laying stress on working out policies for the benefit of women, Dalits and people living below the poverty line.

“We will provide a sensitive and transparent government,” he said.

Gehlot said one of his priorities would be to maintain peace and harmony in the state, which has frequently witnessed conflicts between members of the Gujjar and Meena communities.

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