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Mayawati distributes portfolios, retains 45
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | May 17, 2007 23:41 IST
In a late evening developmnent on Thursday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati decided to distribute portfolios to her 49-member council of minister, retaining as many as 45 of the portfolios herself.
Her party's Brahmin mascot and her confidante Satish Chandra Misra emerged as the key man once again as he has been attached to the chief minister.
Misra, who after some initial reluctance, agreed to get inducted in the cabinet at an exclusive swearing-in ceremony at the Lucknow Raj Bhawan on Wednesday evening, was the only minister in the 48�member council not to entrusted with any particular department.
Evidently he has the chief minister's mandate to have his say in all matters and in different ministries.
The most important departments - widely regarded as lucrative - were concentrated in the hands of her other close confidante, Naseemuddin Siddiqui.
He holds the key to nine important portfolios including excise, sugar industries, PWD, housing and irrigation.
Siddiqui, who had in the past been under the vigilance scanner for certain alleged irregularities in the agricultural marketing sector during Mayawati's second stint as chief minister, is currently facing a CBI probe in the Taj Corridor case .
Among the major portfolios to be held by the chief minister herself were home, finance, industries, appointments, law, family welfare and agriculture export.
Yet another important portfolio, that of energy, goes to Ramveer Upadhaya, who held the same charge in Mayawati's last stint in 2002 as well.
Among the other important portfolios were social welfare and agriculture marketing with Indrajeet Saroj, Parliamentary affairs and medical education with Lalji Verma, revenue with Swami Prasad Maurya, higher education with Rakesh Dhar Tripathi and rural development with Daddu Prasad.
While Ram Prasad Chaudhary was named the new minister for food and civil Supplies, Babu Singh Kushwaha would look after Panchayati Raj and mining.
Another key department of Health was entrusted to Anant Kumar Misra.
The less important departments were distributed among the remaining ministers.