Shimla: With the induction of Lok Sabha member Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Himachal Pradesh has two ministers in the Union Cabinet, but both represent Rajasthan in Parliament.
Chandresh Kumari (69) belongs to Royal family of Jodhpur and is married in Katoch Royal family of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh.
She lost the assembly polls from Dharamsala in December 2007 but was fielded for Lok Sabha from her native place of Jodhpur by the Congress and won.
Interestingly, she was interested in contesting assembly election from Dharamsala but the Congress high command did not favour her candidature and just after ten days she got the pleasant surprise and was inducted into Union Cabinet today.
The Union Commerce and Industry minister Anand Sharma also hails from Himachal Pradesh but he was elected to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan as Congress party did not have adequate strength in the state assembly to get him reelected.
Prior to the resignation of Virbhadra Singh from the Cabinet on June 26, Himachal Pradesh had two ministers in the Union Cabinet but vacancy created by resignation of Singh has been filled and Himachal again has two cabinet ministers but both represent Rajasthan.
Kumari, who was married in 1968 in Katoch ruling family of Kangra, was elected to Himachal assembly for the first time in 1972 from Bamsan and re-elected from Thural in 1982.
She was minister of state for Tourism in Virbhadra Singh government in 1984-85 and was elected to Lok Sabha from Kangra in 1984.
Kumari was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1996 and again elected to Vidhan Sabha from Dharamsala in March 2003 and also served as Health minister in state cabinet.
She was also president of All India Mahila Congress and had distinction of being elected to state assembly, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha from two states.
The local Congress leaders have hailed the induction of Chandresh Kumari in the Union Cabinet, ahead of assembly elections slated for November 4 and expressed hope that it would bolster the prospects of party candidates in Kangra district.