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|April 23, 1998||
Jantantrik ministers given portfolios
The five Jantantrik Bahujan Samaj Party ministers, inducted in the Kalyan Singh government in Uttar Pradesh earlier this month, were allocated portfolios on Wednesday.
According to an official spokesman, Jai Narain Tiwari, who is the only cabinet minister among his five ministerial colleagues, will hold the portfolio of public enterprises.
The portfolios of the four ministers of state are: Munna Lal Maurya, horticulture; Ved Prakash, labour; Rajendra Singh Patel, rural engineering service; and Shiv Ganesh Lodhi, food and civil supplies.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party state president Rajnath Singh, on Wednesday dismissed speculation about a rift in the party.
In a statement issued in Lucknow last night, Kalyan Singh said, ''Some frustrated and defeated forces who are writhing with the agony of being thrown out of power are trying to hatch a conspiracy to weaken the BJP by spreading baseless rumours.''
He said the designs of such elements would never succeed, and categorically denied any strife, adding that there was total coordination between the government and the party.
Kalyan Singh said it was the result of "party unity and competent leadership'' of the BJP that created a record by winning 26 out of 39 Vidhan Parishad and 60 out of 85 Lok Sabha seats recently.
In a separate statement, Rajnath Singh described as ''totally baseless'', reports about alleged differences and bickering between the government and the party.
He said there was absolutely no question of a change in the state leadership.
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