Raipur : Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh Wednesday appointed five dissident tribal legislators of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to key posts and gave them all the minister of state rank.
Singh appointed four legislators – Devlal Dugga, Subhau Kashyap, Sanjeev Shah and Ramsheela Sahu – as parliamentary secretaries.
Sahu is a woman leader from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community, and the other three men are tribals. They are among the over 25 dissident legislators of the ruling BJP. The party has 52 legislators in the 90-member state assembly. Most of the dissidents are allegedly lobbying against the chief minister.
Raman Singh late Tuesday appointed two other tribal dissident legislators -Renuka Singh and Kamalbhan Singh – as deputy chairman of the Surguja Development Authority and chairman of the State Scheduled Tribe Commission, respectively. Both posts are of the minister rank.
Renuka Singh was sworn in as a minister in the Raman Singh government in December 2003 but became open detractor of the chief minister after being dropped from the ministry in June 2005.
The appointment of five tribals to key posts within two days is seen as a move aimed at containing dissident activities in the party ahead of next year’s assembly polls.