Golay hands out Sikkim portfolios
Sikkim chief minister P.S. Golay allocated portfolios to his 12-member cabinet on Thursday, keeping important ministries like home and finance to himself.
The department of planning, North East Council affairs and excise are among the departments that Golay, who assumed office on Monday, has kept with himself. The chief minister has by and large followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Pawan Chamling in the choice of his portfolios.
Kunga Nima Lepcha, at 71 the senior most member of the cabinet, has been given the key HRD, law and legislative and parliamentary affairs departments.
Sonam Lama, who like Lepcha is the only two-time MLA of the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), has been given rural management and panchayat, apart from the ecclesiastical department. Lama represents the Sangha seat, where the MLA is elected by an organisation of monks.
Bhim Hang Subba, the youngest minister at 30, was given water resources, public health engineering and river development.
Arun Upreti, secretary-general of the SKM, will oversee urban development and the housing and food civil supplies and consumer affairs departments.
Mani Kumar Sharma, a skin doctor with a flourishing practice in Siliguri, will head health care and family welfare apart from holding additional charge of social justice.
B. S. Panth, the veteran politician who joined the SKM from the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) weeks before the election, was rewarded with tourism and commerce and industry.
Samdup Lepcha has been assigned public works and Lok Nath Sharma given agriculture. Mingma Narbu Sherpa is the minister for power and labour. Karma Loday Bhutia has been assigned forest and environment. Sanjit Kharel was allocated public works and transport.
On Monday, hundreds of SKM supporters had cheered the 51-year-old Golay when he had taken oath in Nepali. Former chief minister Chamling was conspicuous by his absence at the swearing-in.