On the heels of GS Bali’s resignation as tourism and transport minister, Sujan Singh Pathania, a Rajput leader from Kangra district is to be inducted into the Virbhadra cabinet on Wednesday.
Talking to media persons chief minister Virbhadra Singh choose to distance the new induction from the recent happening saying that it was on the cards and could not be held earlier as Governor VS Kokje was out of station. “With arrival of the governor, Pathania would be sworn in as a cabinet minister on 1st of August,” said Virbhadra.
However the chief minister did not specify about any reshuffle of ministries that would come about because of the new induction. As there is another vacancy open in the cabinet, speculation is rife that there could be a last moment induction of another minister also. The chief minister did not specify about the possibility of appointing any parliamentary secretaries either.
Pathania, who represent the Jwali constituency, has remained a minister in a Virbhadra Singh government earlier also. The induction is part of a political balancing act to pacify voters in the states largest district, which to a house of 68 sends 16 lawmakers.
With the resignation of Bali, the districts representation in the ministry had come down to just one with old warhorse Sat Mahajan, revenue minister being the lone representative in the cabinet from the politically dominant district.
When the congress government came to power in 2003, there were half a dozen ministers from Kangra in the cabinet, which included Chander Kumar, Chandersh Kumari, Vijay Singh Mankotia, GS Bali, BB Butail and Sat Mahajan.
While Chander Kumar got elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004, Chandersh Kumari, Mankotia and Butail were dropped when the state ministries had to be curtailed to abide by new constitutional norms.