Pawan Chamling on Wednesday was sworn in as Sikkim Chief Minister for the record fifth consecutive time. Governor Shriniwas Patil administered the oath of office to Chamling and 11 ministers at a function in Raj Bhawan.
The Chamling-led Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) had secured a two-thirds majority in the Assembly elections winning 22 seats out of 32. He was yesterday elected as the SDF Legislature Party leader following which the Governor invited him to form the government.
In power since December 12, 1994, the 63-year-old Chamling has already completed two uninterrupted decades as the CM of the erstwhile Himalayan kingdom which had merged with India in 1975.
After being sworn in for the fifth consecutive time, he was on his way to break the late Communist patriarch Jyoti Basu's record of being India's longest serving chief minister. Basu had ruled West Bengal for 23 years from 1977 till 2000.
Chamling retained key portfolios like Home and Finance. R B Subba was allotted sports and youth welfare, law and parliamentary affairs and DT Lepcha transport. Somnath Poudyal would be in-charge of agriculture while Ugen Gyasto Bhutia was given tourism and the ministry of commerce and industry.
GM Gurung would handle PWD, cultural affairs and heritage departments. The lone woman minister Tulshi Devi Rai would look after the departments of water security, public health and engineering.
TW Lepcha would look after forests and science, while AK Ghatani was the new health minister. Other ministers included DD Bhutia, NK Subba, and SB Subedi