Ex BJP chief Khimi Ram now enters Dhumal’s cabinet

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Wednesday announced that he would expand his cabinet by inducting former state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Khimi Ram into the ministry.

Dhumal told reporters in his home constituency Hamirpur that Ram will be sworn in Thursday in Shimla.

Party insiders said Dhumal, who has not appointed a forest minister after J.P. Nadda’s elevation as party’s national general secretary in 2010, might allocate forest portfolio to Ram, a close confidant of Dhumal.

There will also be a possibility of reshuffling of portfolios of some ministers, they said.

Currently, Dhumal holds more than 10 portfolios, including finance, home, forest, general administration, tourism and excise and taxation.

The party leaders said Dhumal had already held consultations with the party’s central leadership including former chief minister Shanta Kumar and party chief Nitin Gadkari about the cabinet expansion.

The party two days ago appointed Satpal Singh Satti, a second-time legislator from Una, new state president replacing Ram.

Ram is a two-time legislator from Banjar in Kullu district.

Assembly polls will be held in the hill state towards the end of this year.

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