Newly-Inducted Haryana Ministers Assume Charge

Senior minister Anil Vij warned government officials to perform or be prepared to take voluntary retirement from service.

Newly-Inducted Haryana Ministers Assume Charge

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar with newly-inducted minister Anil Vij.

Chandigarh:

Newly-inducted ministers in the Manohar Lal Khattar Cabinet assumed charge in Chandigarh on Friday, with senior minister Anil Vij warning government officials to perform or be prepared to take voluntary retirement from service.

Chief Minister Khattar was also present when the newly-inducted ministers - including Home and Health Minister Anil Vij, Education Minister Kanwar Pal, Power Minister and Independent MLA Ranjit Singh Chautala, Women and Child Development Minister Kamlesh Dhanda, Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma and Sports Minister Sandeep Singh - assumed charge at the Haryana Civil Secretariat building.

"I will not tolerate laxity on anyone''s part," Mr Vij said.

"My message to them (government officials) is to perform and if any official feels he cannot do so, then he/she can take voluntary retirement," he said.

Mr Vij, who has been entrusted with heading the key portfolio of the Home Department during his second consecutive term as minister, said he will work to improve the image of the police so that its acceptability among the public increases.

He said he will soon convene a meeting of police officers of various departments and take feedback on how things can be improved, stressing that eliminating the drug menace from the state will be among his top priorities.

"Police department is directly connected with people. Though you cannot have a policeman for every person, but the public should feel safe and secure knowing that if they face any trouble at any time, police is there to protect them all the time," he said.

Kanwar Pal, who began his new stint as the state''s Education Minister, said he would focus on providing qualitative education and improving the performance of government schools students.

"People should once again feel that government schools are at par and even better than their private counterparts," Mr Pal said.

Kamlesh Dhanda, the lone woman minister in the Haryana Cabinet said that coming from the rural hinterland, she will work to improve the lives of women, especially those living in the state's rural areas.

Ranjit Chautala, son of former deputy prime minister late Devi Lal Chautala, gave the assurance that there will be no shortage of electricity during his tenure as Power Minister.

When reporters pointed out that he was in fact the grand uncle of Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, Ranjit replied: "In 1987 when Devi Lal was chief minister, I was in his cabinet. When father and son can be in the cabinet (together), why can''t we both be in the same cabinet. He is doing his work and I am doing mine."

Former Indian hockey team captain Sandeep Singh said his vision as Sports Minister is to take sports forward by providing better facilities for sportspersons.

"To make sports strong at the grassroots level will also be my priority," said Singh, who has earlier worked with the state''s police department.

On next year's Olympics, he said, "Haryana is ahead in the field of sports. Players from Haryana representing India are expected to do well in hockey, wrestling, shooting, boxing. We have great hope of winning medals. We will provide better facilities to our sportspersons".

Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma said that he will try to provide better facilities for those using state transport buses.

Nearly three weeks after taking oath, the Haryana chief minister on Thursday gave shape to his council of ministers by inducting 10 new members including one from ally JJP and an independent.

The BJP emerged as the single largest party with 40 seats, but failed to make it across the halfway mark on its own. Dushyant Chautala''s JJP, which had broken off from the Indian National Lok Dal a few months ago, then came to its rescue with its 10 MLAs.

Seven Independents have also extended their support to the BJP-JJP government in the state.

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