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Devi Lal’s son among 10 inducted in Manohar Lal’s ministry

While Jat leader and JJP chief Dushyant Chautala was already the deputy CM, his uncle and former CM Devi Lal’s son Ranjit Singh Chautala, who won as an independent, was sworn in as minister of state (MoS) with independent charge on Thursday.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 15, 2019, 10.44 AM IST
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PTI
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Ranjit Singh Chautala taking oath as a minister in Chandigarh.
NEW DELHI: Four Jats are now part of chief minister Manohar Lal’s council of ministers in Haryana where the BJP faced the wrath of the Jat community in the recent assembly election and was forced to ally with erstwhile rival Jannayak Janata Party to form the government.

While Jat leader and JJP chief Dushyant Chautala was already the deputy CM, his grand-uncle and former CM Devi Lal’s son Ranjit Singh Chautala, who won as an independent, was sworn in as minister of state (MoS) with independent charge on Thursday. Only two Jats were part of the Cabinet in the last government.

Also, CM Manohar Lal has allotted the key home portfolio to his senior-most minister, Anil Vij while Lal has kept the Finance portfolio for himself. As the Home Minister with additional portfolios like health, Anil Vij will be as important as Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala in the Cabinet now. Chautala has been allotted a host of portfolios though, like excise, taxation and industries.

The other two Jat leaders inducted into the cabinet are two-time BJP MLA JP Dalal, who took oath as cabinet minister, and the sole woman minister from BJP, Kamlesh Dhanda, who is MoS with independent charge.

Ten ministers were sworn in on Thursday, leaving scope for the CM to add two berths in the future. The JJP settled for one more minister with independent charge, its Dalit face Anoop Dhanak, who won from Uklana for the second time. He had shifted to the JJP from the INLD. However, JJP could get another berth at a later stage, according to people in the know. An independent may be accommodated to fill up the vacant berth, they said.

Jat-dominated districts which are Bhupinder Singh Hooda's strong-holds, like Rohtak and Sonipat, have gone unrepresented in the Cabinet.

Lal, a Punjabi, opted for only two more Punjabis in the cabinet – hockey player Sandeep Singh and Anil Vij. Former assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal Gujjar was also sworn in as cabinet minister, along with Ballabhgarh MLA Moolchand Sharma, the BJP’s Brahmin face. Banwari Lal, the party’s prominent Dalit face, was made a cabinet minister, after he served as one in the former BJP government. The Narnaul MLA Om Prakash Yadav was made an MoS.

The swearing-in took place 18 days after Lal and Chautala took the oath, and nearly three weeks after the assembly election results were declared.
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