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Delhi gets new water, transport ministers

Asian Age 2017-05-19 03:46:00

New Delhi: Following the President’s nod to the appointment of Kailash Gahlot and Rajendra Pal Gautam as ministers in the Delhi government on Friday, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal made some changes in the portfolios and allocated key responsibilities to his new colleagues.

Mr Gahlot has replaced Satyendra Jain as the city transport minister, while Mr Gautam has been given the water ministry, which was previously held by Kapil Mishra before he was shunted out of Mr Kejriwal’s city cabinet on May 6.

The portfolios were allocated to Mr Gahlot and Mr Gautam after lieutenant-governor (L-G) Anil Baijal administrated them the oath of office and secrecy at the L-G secretariat.

Mr Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel attended the oath-taking ceremony.

The Cabinet reshuffle assumes significance as the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has suffered crushing defeats in the recent municipal polls and in the Rajouri Garden bypoll.

Mr Gahlot, the Najafgarh MLA, will have to address the ailing public transport system. Ever since the AAP government came to power, not a single bus has been added to the Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) fleet.

Mr Gahlot has also been given the charge of law and justice, information technology, and administrative reforms, which were until now with deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.

Seemapuri MLA Rajendra Pal Gautam’s responsibilities bring him challenges as the AAP government has promised to provide tap water to every household.