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Sangma allocates portfolios to ministers

By The Assam Tribune

Shillong, June 9 (IANS): Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Wednesday reshuffled the portfolios of some of his ministers a day after the inducting three new ministers.

Sangma has retained some of the key portfolios like finance, commerce and industries, agriculture and horticulture, taxation, planning, tourism and forests and environment.

Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader-turned-Congress legislator AL Hek was allotted the water resources, general administration department and information and technology portfolios.

The cabinet reshuffle came after a two-month long revolt against Mukul Sangma by 18 rebel Congress legislators, including six minters demanding his ouster as Chief Minister.

Saleng A Sangma, one of the rebel legislators and now the youngest minister in the cabinet, has been given charge of community and rural development, public works department and co-operation.

Pale, known to be Sangma's loyalist, has been allotted public health engineering, legal metrology and home guards and civil defence.

Hek, Shitlang Pale and Saleng A Sangma were inducted on Tuesday.

Mukul Sangma had sacked four of the six rebel ministers - Prestone Tynsong, FW Momin, Augustine Marak and FS Cajee - for revolting against him.

In the reallocation of portfolios, the chief minister stripped the education and tourism portfolios from M Ampareen Lyngdoh, the lone woman legislator in the 60-member house.

Sangma, however, rewarded her with the the plum portfolio of urban affairs besides science and technology, municipal administration and housing.

In the 12-member Cabinet, one seat is still vacant after Congress legislator S.W. Rymbai failed to turn up to take up the oath of office and secrecy at the Raj Bhavan.

Sangma was sworn in as chief minister of a Congress-led coalition government April 20, 2010, after 21 of the 28 Congress legislators proposed him as the legislature party leader.

The Congress enjoys the support of UDP (9 members), HSPDP (2), KHNAM (1) and four independent members. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the main opposition in the state, has 15 members.

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