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Tiwari removes five ministers

July 06, 2004 17:31 IST

Amidst stiff opposition from a section of the ruling Congress, Uttaranchal Chief Minister N D Tiwari today removed five ministers from his cabinet, reducing its strength to 12 to meet the new constitutional requirement. The Uttaranchal assembly has 40 seats and this means the cabinet can have a maximum of just 12 members.


Tiwari handed over the list of five ministers to Governor Sudershan Agarwal, according to State Information Minister Indira Hridayesh.


Those dropped are Irrigation Minister Shurvir Sajwan, Cooperation Minister Mantri Prasad Naithani, Rural Development Minister Surinder Singh Negi, Social Welfare Minister Ram Prasad Tamta, and Minister of State for Industrial Development Kishor Upadhyay.


Except Naithani and Tamta, all other ministers who were removed belong to Tiwari's rival camp led by Pradesh Congress Committee President Harish Rawat. Peeved over their removal, Sajwan and Upadhyay criticised Tiwari, holding him responsible for the Congress debacle in the Lok Sabha elections in Uttaranchal.


Sajwan said he and Upadhyay would meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi in connection with the political situation arising out of the cabinet pruning exercise. They also said Tiwari was trying to weaken the Congress in Uttaranchal.


Last week, all the Cabinet ministers in the N D Tiwari government submitted their resignations paving way for the downsizing of the ministry.



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