New Delhi: With a string of assembly elections on the horizon, the Congress leadership on Sunday promoted and gave greater respresentation to its representatives from some of poll-bound states in the cabinet reshuffle.
Chandresh Kumari Katoch, a MP from Jodhpur, who has been a minister in Himchal Pradesh, has been inducted as a cabinet minister and given portfolio of culture. Himachal Pradesh goes to the polls Nov 4.
Dinsha J. Patel, a Congress MP from Kheda in poll-bound Gujarat, has also been elevated as cabinet minister for mines.
Bharatsinh Solanki, party MP from Anand who was minister of state for railways, has been elevated as Minister of state (independent charge)drinking water and sanitation.
Gujarat will see assembly polls in December.
K. Rahman Khan, a Congress MP from Karnataka and former deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha where assembly polls are due early next year, has been made a cabinet minister and given portfolio of minority affairs.
K.H. Muniyappa, Congress MP from Kolar in Karnataka, who was minister of state for railways, has been elevated as minister of state (independent charge) of micro, small and medium enterprises.
Ajay Maken, a MP from Delhi, which will also face polls later next year, has been elevated to cabinet rank and given charge of housing and urban poverty alleviation.
Lalchand Kataria, a Congress MP from Jaipur Rural, has been inducted as Minister of State for Defence. Two other young leaders from the state have been promoted.
Jitendra Singh, MP from Alwar who was minister of state for home, has been promoted as minister of state (independent charge) for youth affairs and sports. Sachin Pilot, minister of state for communications and information technology and Congress MP from Ajmer, has been elevated as minister of state (independent charge) for corporate affairs.
Rajasthan will go for polls next year.
Leaderes from Madhya Pradesh, which will also go to the polls next year, have figured in the cabinet reshuffle. Jyotiraditya Scindia, party MP from Guna and minister of state for commerce and industry, has been promoted to minister of state (independent charge) for power.
Party leader Kamal Nath, MP from Chindwara, has also been given parliamentary affairs in addition to his charge of urban development.
Congress sources said Kamal Nath's connections across party spectrum and his rapport with oppositon leaders would be useful in the upcoming winter session of parliament where contentious legislations including those on banking and insurance sector changes are likely to come up.