Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma allocated portfolios to his eleven ministerial colleagues on Wednesday evening, while keeping several, including finance, personnel, cabinet affairs and planning, with himself.
The task was the first tightrope walk for the young CM who is heading a six-party coalition government.
Conrad’s elder brother and a three-time National People’s Party legislator James Sangma will look after home (police), food and civil supplies, power, district council affairs and law.
Prestone Tynsong gets PWD (roads), animal husbandry and veterinary, housing, labour and parliamentary affairs.
Sniawbhalang Dhar gets transport, commerce and industries, soil and water conservation and community and rural development.
Comingone Ymbon will look after PWD (building), general administration department and fisheries.
All three left the Congress before the February 27 elections to join Sangma’s NPP.
A.L. Hek who also quit the Congress to join the BJP has been given the health and family welfare, I&PR, arts and culture.
United Democratic Party’s Lakmen Rymbui, who returned to active politics after losing the 2013 assembly elections has been given charge of border area development, education (literacy and higher and technical), forest and environment.
Another senior UDP legislator, Metbah Lyngdoh will take charge of water resources, tourism, home guards and civil defense and excise while his newcomer colleague, Kyrmen Shylla gets revenue and disaster management, social welfare as well as printing and stationery.
Amongst the other new faces, Banteidor Lyngdoh of the UDF will look after sports and youth affairs, agriculture, horticulture and sericulture and weaving. His party colleague, Hamletson Dohling was allocated urban affairs including municipal administration and information technology.
The lone Hill State People Democratic Party legislator to get a cabinet berth is Samlin Malngiang, who has been tasked to look after public health engineering, secretariat administration and legal metrology.
Prior to allocation of portfolios, Sangma convened an introductory cabinet meeting.
Emerging from the meeting, he told journalists that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government will soon present a budget.
Sangma said, “Time is short for us but we will work and try to come up with whatever is best for the state.”
He will be holding detailed discussions with the finance department to understand the overall fiscal position of the state, he added.
Earlier in the day, 57 newly-elected legislators were sworn as members of the10th Meghalaya Legislative Assembly by protem speaker Timothy D Shira at a special session held here.