Chhattisgarh tribal legislators lobby for cabinet berths

December 17th, 2008 - 2:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Dec 17 (IANS) As many as 20 tribal legislators of Chhattisgarh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are lobbying hard to get a big share in the 13-member council of ministers.In the November elections, the BJP won 50 seats in the 90-member state assembly and had bagged many of the seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST).

The party clinched 20 of the total 29 seats reserved for ST candidates, which included 11 seats out of 12 in the tribal-majority insurgency-hit Bastar region.

BJP sources said that all the 20 tribals legislators have communicated to the party their desire to be accommodated in Chief Minister Raman Singh’s cabinet that is likely to be sworn in later this week or early next week.

“The party respects the feelings and wishes of tribal legislators and will certainly try to accommodate at least five-six tribal legislators, with some two-three from the Bastar region in the council of ministers,” a BJP source told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The source added that a few tribal legislators would be appointed as parliamentary secretaries as well, particularly those who pulled off surprise wins in the decades-old Congress stronghold of the violence-hit Dantewada and Bijapur districts.

Raman Singh is currently in New Delhi, holding discussions with the party’s central leadership to give the final touches to the names to be inducted into the council of ministers.

Singh is finding it tough to pick a candidate for the assembly speaker’s post as Premprakash Pandey, who held the post last, lost the polls from the Bhilai Nagar seat.

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