Ex-BJP state chief inducted in Himachal govt



Shimla: With Assembly Elections in the state just a few months away, the Himachal Pradesh cabinet was expanded Thursday with the induction of former BJP state chief Khimi Ram to fill the lone vacant berth.

Governor Urmilla Singh administered the oath of office and secretary to Khimi Ram at a simple ceremony, attended by other ministers, at the Raj Bhawan here.

With the induction of Ram, who resigned as state BJP chief last week, the lone vacancy in the cabinet caused by the resignation of J P Nadda, who was appointed BJP general secretary in March 2010, has been filled.

Talking to reporters after the swearing-in ceremony, chief minister P K Dhumal said that the portfolio of the new minister would be announced by the evening.

This would be the second expansion of the 50-month-old cabinet after Dhumal was sworn in as chief minister in December, 2007, and three cabinet ministers were added in October 2009.

Khimi Ram was elected as MLA from Banjjar constituency in Kullu in 2003 and retained his seat in 2007.

He was elected Deputy Speaker of the Assembly in January 2008 but resigned from the post on his appointment as state BJP chief in February 2010.

PTI