Monday, 30th October 2017

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UDP minister still awaits portfolio

Meghalaya cannot have more than 12 members in the cabinet, including the chief minister

By Our Correspondent in Shillong
  • Published 23.09.19, 12:37 AM
  • Updated 23.09.19, 9:45 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Swearing-in ceremony of H. Brolding Nongsiej at Raj Bhavan on September 18 Telegraph file picture

United Democratic Party (UDP) legislator H. Brolding Nongsiej, who was sworn in as a member of the Conrad K. Sangma cabinet in Meghalaya last week, is still without a portfolio.

Nongsiej was administered the oath of office and secrecy by governor Tathagata Roy at Raj Bhavan on September 18. The two-time legislator from Mawthadraishan replaced UDP chief and Mairang legislator Metbah Lyngdoh after he was elected Speaker on September 13.

While in the cabinet, Lyngdoh was the minister in-charge of tourism, excise, water resources, and civil defence and homeguards.

The delay in allocating portfolios to Nongsiej could be because chief minister Conrad K. Sangma has been out of station since September 18.

This delay, five days and counting, could make Nongsiej enter the record books of Meghalaya politics as he could be the first minister to be without any portfolio for several days.

Nongsiej told The Telegraph on Sunday that his portfolios would be allocated on Monday.

“As the chief minister is not in town, there has been this delay in allocating portfolios. But I am not in a hurry. By tomorrow, my portfolios will be known,” he said.

On whether the reports that he would be allocated with the water resources and civil defence and homeguards departments were true, Nongsiej refused to comment.

“Let us see tomorrow,” he added.

The portfolios would be allocated by the governor on the advice of the chief minister and a notification would be issued.

Sources said Nongsiej could be made the political executive head of the two departments while the excise and tourism departments, which were earlier with Lyngdoh, could go to his UDP cabinet colleagues, Lahkmen Rymbui and Kyrmen Shylla, respectively.

Meghalaya cannot have more than 12 members in the cabinet, including the chief minister.