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|December 8, 1998||
Digvijay distributes all portfolios, keeps five districts
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh chose not to retain any department while allocating portfolios to his ministers today.
Jamuna Devi (women and child welfare), state Congress president Urmila Singh (tribal welfare), Col Ajay Narayan Mushran (finance, planning, economics and statistics), Mahendra Singh Kalukheda (agriculture), Narendra Nahata (commerce and industries), Subhash Sojatia (public health and welfare), Deepak Saxena (public health engineering), Hukum Singh Karada (energy), and Indrajit Kumar Patel (housing and environment) have retained the portfolios they held in the previous government, also headed by Singh.
But Kalukheda has been given additional charge of co-operation and ayacut while Col Mushran has got charge of implementation of the 20-point programme. Sojatia will also look after the medical education department.
Nand Kumar Patel will be the new home and aviation minister. Patel, who has been promoted to Cabinet rank, was earlier minister of state for home.
Ravindra Choubey will be the new minister for general administration, public relations, and public grievances while Satya Narayan Sharma is the minister for commercial taxes, including excise.
Congress Working Committee member Arjun Singh's son Ajay Singh 'Rahul' has been allotted panchayat and rural development, tourism and culture.
Ram Chandra Singh Deo gets water resources (irrigation) development and Vijayalaxmi Sadho will look after the Narmada Valley Development Authority.
Shravan Patel is minister for public works, sports and youth welfare while revenue and rehabilitation has been allocated to Prem Sai Singh.
Ratnesh Soloman, brother-in-law of Congress spokesman Ajit Jogi, has been given charge of forests. Mahendra Bodh gets school education while higher education, mining, and manpower planning go to Krishna Kumar Gupta.
Chanesh Ram Ratiya will look after animal husbandry and fisheries development. Dhanesh Patila is the minister for scheduled caste welfare, dairy development, and jails.
Republican Party of India legislator Doman Singh Nagpure, who has been inducted into the ministry as a minister of state with independent charge as per his party's pre-election understanding with the Congress, has been given labour, social welfare, and backward classes welfare.
Another minister of state, Arif Aqueel, gets independent charge of minorities welfare, Bhopal gas tragedy relief and rehabilitation, and food.
Digvijay names district guardian ministers for the first time in MP
Also, under the new concept of 'district government', Digvijay Singh will personally look after the affairs of Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Rewa districts.
On assuming office for his second consecutive term, Singh had announced the introduction of the concept of district governments with ministers being put in charge of specific districts to co-ordinate rural and urban affairs for the planned development of the regions.
The system has been followed in neighbouring Maharashtra for a long time.
Tribal politician Jamuna Devi will be in charge of Dhar district while Urmila Singh will take charge of Seoni district.
By and large, most ministers have been given charge of their respective home districts. A few have been assigned two or three districts.
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