Shimla: After delaying for almost a month, finally Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu expanded his cabinet and formally inducted seven ministers.

Senior Congress leader from Solan Dr. (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil, OBC Leader Chander Kumar (Jawali), Harshvardhan Chauhan, Shilai, Jagat Singh Negi, Kinnaur, Rohit Thakur Jubbal Kotkhai, Anirudh Singh Kasumpati and Vikramaditya Singh Shimla rural have been made ministers.

  • Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh: Finance, General Administration, Home, Planning, Personnel and All other departments not allotted
  • Deputy CM Mukesh Agnihotri: Jal Shakti, Transport, Language, Arts and Culture
  • Dr. (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil: Health and Family Welfare, Social Justice and Empowerment, Labour and Employment
  • Chander Kumar: Agriculture, Animal Husbandry
  • Harshvardhan Chauhan: Industries, Parliamentary Affairs, Ayush
  • Jagat Singh Negi: Revenue, Horticulture, Tribal Development
  • Rohit Thakur: Higher Education, Elementary Education, Technical Education, Vocational and Industrial Training
  • Anirudh Singh: Rural Development, Panchayati Raj
  • Vikramaditya Singh: Public Works, Youth Services and Sports

Only Shandil and Chander Kumar have prior experience in handling the Cabinet portfolio, while Rohit was made CPS during Virbhadra Singh-led regime.  

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who is also at the helm for the first time, said that the new-look ministry has both experience and zeal to work for the state.

Here is a brief detail of Cabinet Ministers

Dr (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil

Designation: Health and Family Welfare Minister
Portfolio: Health and Family Welfare, Social Justice and Empowerment, Labour and Employment

Dr Shandil (83) an Army Veteran, was elected to the 13th Lok Sabha in 1999 as Himachal Vikas Congress Party nominee and re-elected to the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004 as Indian National Congress nominee.

He was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in December 2012; remained Social Justice & Empowerment Minister. Re-elected to the thirteenth Vidhan Sabha (2nd term) in December 2017 and 14th Legislative Assembly in December 2022.

Chander Kumar

Designation: Agriculture Minister
Portfolio: Agriculture, Animal Husbandry

Veteran Politician Chander Kumar (78) started his electoral journey in Assembly Elections 1977 but lost. He was elected to the Assembly in 1982, 1985, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2022. He lost the 1990 assembly elections.

Chander Kumar remained Vice-Chairman, HRTC from 1982 to 1985; Deputy Minister for Health, Higher Education and Public Relations from April 1984 to March 1985; Minister of State for Forest (independent charge) from March 1985 to 1989; Minister of State for Agriculture and Art, Language & Culture and Fisheries (independent charge) from 1989 to 1990 and Cabinet Minister for Irrigation, Public Health, Science & Technology and Technical Education 1993 to 1998.

He also remained a Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2009.

Harshwardhan Chauhan

Designation: Industries Minister
Portfolio: Industries, Parliamentary Affairs, Ayush

Son of Congress veteran and former minister Late Guman Singh Chauhan, Harshwardhan Chauhan (58) remained associated with NSUI, Youth Congress.

Chauhan was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 1993 and re-elected in 1998, 2003, 2007, 2017 and 2022. He remained Vice-Chairman of State General Industries Corporation from 1995 to 1997, Member of the School Education Board Dharamshala from 1994 to 1997,  Executive Council H.P. University, Shimla from 1994 to 1996, H.P. State Youth Board from 1995 to 1997 and Senate of Y.S. Parmar Horticulture University, Nauni (Solan).

Harshwardhan Chauhan also remained Chief Parliamentary Secretary from 18th April to 18th August 2005.

Jagat Singh Negi

Designation: Revenue Minister
Portfolio: Revenue, Horticulture, Tribal Development

Associated with the Indian National Congress from Youth Congress, Jagat Singh Negi (65) was elected to the State Legislative Assembly on 27th May 1995 (by-election) and re-elected in June 2003, 2012, 2017 and 2022. He remained Parliamentary Secretary from 18th April 2005 to 18th August 2005 and Deputy Speaker from 2013 to 2017.

He was also appointed Chief Whip of the Congress Legislature Party during the 13th Legislative assembly.

He was also Chairman of Panchayat Samiti, Pooh from 1987 to 1992 and Vice-Chairman of HP State Schedule Caste & Schedule Tribe Development Corporation from 1996 to 1997.

Rohit Thakur

Designation: Education Minister
Portfolio: Higher Education, Elementary Education, Technical Education, Vocational and Industrial Training

Coming from a political family, Rohit Thakur (49) is the grandson of former Chief Minister and Congress veteran Ram Lal Thakur.

Thakur was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 2003, and 2012 and remained Chief Parliamentary Secretary from May 2013 to December 2017. He was re-elected to the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha for the third time in a by-election held on 30th October 2021 and re-elected to the 14th Legislative Assembly in December 2022.

Anirudh Singh

Designation: Rural Development, Panchayati Raj Minister
Portfolio: Rural Development, Panchayati Raj

Rise from the grassroots, Anirudh Singh (45) started his political career in Zila Parishad and won the seat Chamyana Ward No-22 of District Shimla twice from 2005 to 2010 and Chairman Zila Parishad Shimla from January 2011 to January 2013.

Anirudh Singh was elected to the twelfth Vidhan Sabha in December 2012 and re-elected to the thirteenth Vidhan Sabha (2nd term) in December 2017 and 14th Legislative Assembly in December 2022.

Vikramaditya Singh

Designation: Public Works Minister
Portfolio: Public Works, Youth Services and Sports

Son of Veteran politician Late Virbhadra Singh, six-time Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Vikramaditya Singh (33) has inherited politics. He was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in December 2017 and re-elected to the 14th Legislative Assembly in December 2022.

Educated from Bishop Cotton School Shimla and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, Vikramaditya Singh was elected President of the Himachal Pradesh Youth Congress from 2013 to 2018.

To strike the political and regional balance in his government, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has also inducted six Chief Parliamentary Secretaries.

Bio Data of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries

Mohan Lal Brakta

Mohan Lal Brakta was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 2012. He had won the election with the highest margin.

He was re-elected to the thirteenth Vidhan Sabha (2nd term) and 14th Legislative Assembly in December 2022.

Sunder Singh Thakur

Multi Purpose Projects and Power, Tourism, Forest, Transport

Elected to the Himachal Legislative in 2017 and re-elected in 2022, Sunder Thakur (57) remained active from student politics.

He was a Member of Panchayat Samiti in 1991 and Chairman of Panchayat Samiti Kullu from 1991 to 1994. He was Vice-Chairman of Zila Parishad Kullu from 1994 to 1999. He also remained a Member of the State Pollution Control Board from 2003 to 2008 and a Member of the Himachal Pradesh Sports Council from 2013 to 2017.

Ram Kumar Chaudhary

Son of Lajja Ram, former Chief Parliamentary Secretary of Govt. of Himachal Pradesh, Ram Kumar Chaudhary (53) also politically active from student politics and elected to the State Legislative Assembly for the first time in 2012. He was re-elected to the 14th Legislative Assembly in December 2022.

Ram Kumar Chaudhary was also Chairman of Zila Parishad of District Solan from January 2006 to January 2011.

Ashish Butail

Coming from the famous Butail family of Palampur, Ashish Butail (42) was elected to the thirteenth Vidhan Sabha in December 2017 and re-elected to the 14th Legislative Assembly in December 2022.

He is the son of Brij Behari Lal Butail, former Speaker and Cabinet Minister of Himachal Pradesh. He has done his schooling at BCS Shimla and graduated from Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce Pune.

Kishori Lal

From representing panchayat, Kishori Lal (75) has risen in politics from rank. He was elected to the State Assembly for the first time in December 2012 and re-elected to the 14th Legislative Assembly in December 2022.

Kishori Lal remained Panchyat Up- Pradhan and Pradhan five times.

Sanjay Awasthy

Information & Public Relations

Sanjay Awasthi (57) was elected to the State Legislative Assembly for the first time in By-election held on 30th October 2021 and re-elected to the 14th Legislative Assembly in December 2022.

He remained President (elected) District Cricket Association (Solan) from 1996 to 2006 and was Elected Councillor Municipal Council Solan from 2000 to 2005.

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