Sonia Gandhi asks Hooda to rework list of ministers

Sonia Gandhi asks Hooda to rework list of ministers

New Delhi: Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was asked by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to prepare a fresh list of ministers. The leadership was dissatisfied with the first list, senior Congress party members said on condition of anonymity.

Hooda, expected to expand his one-man ministry on Friday morning, cancelled the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday evening.

PTI reported from Chandigarh that Haryana governor Jagan Nath Pahadia will administer the oath of office to the new ministers on Saturday, which will be the first expansion of the 12-day-old ministry, that came to power with the support of the seven independent MLAs.

According to a senior Congress leader familiar with the developments, Gandhi was not “satisfied" with the names Hooda had proposed for the expansion as his list had only “persons belonging to his group".

The Congress leader said Gandhi was upset with the first list as Hooda had not included Savitri Jindal, widow of former state minister and industrialist O.P. Jindal, and Randeep Surjewala among other aspirants belonging to his rival groups. Culture and tourism minister Kiran Choudhary, a third-time MLA and an arch rival of Hooda in the state unit, had been offered the post of minister of state, he added.

PTI contributed to this story.