Itanagar, Aug. 5: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Gegong Apang today did a neat balancing act, even bifurcating a couple of departments to prevent dissension in his council of ministers over allocation of portfolios.
Ministers from the militant-infested Tirap and Changlang districts walked away with the lion’s share of the main portfolios, including home, trade and commerce, rural works, agriculture and transport.
United Democratic Front spokesperson Lijum Ronya said the chief minister had succeeded in making everyone happy. “The determining factor was correct representation of districts and ethnic compositions.”
Former finance minister L. Wanglat got the home portfolio, while deputy chief minister and Congress (D) leader Kameng Dolo was given additional charge of the district administration, personnel and administrative training departments.
The power department was divided into three entities — electrical, civil and non-conventional energy. Ronya was given charge of the department’s electrical wing and Kento Ete the civil section. Rima Taipodia got the non-conventional energy, information, stationery and printing portfolios.
However, Apang surprised many by giving the finance portfolio to Kaliko Pul, who had begun his political career as deputy minister of finance in the erstwhile Arunachal Congress ministry. Pul was also minister of state for finance in the ousted Mukut Mithi government before being shifted to the land-management department.
Mekab Dolo, wife of the deputy chief minister and the lone woman member of the new ministry, was made minister of state for social welfare. T.L Rajkumar, who had been arrested in April for alleged links with the NSCN (I-M), was ironically chosen to handle law, judicial and parliamentary affairs.
I. Legi, who played an important role in the coup against Mithi, was given public works.
The other ministers are: Tingpong Wangham, who retains rural works department; Newlai Tingkatra — agriculture; Thajam Aboh — horticulture; Anok Wangsa — border areas development and trade and commerce; S. Ngemu — public health engineering and water supply; Tihap Taizu — cooperation and library; Phosum Khimun — mines and research; C.C. Singpho — transport; Ingrajit Namchom — sports and youth affairs; and Roding Pertin — environment and forest.