Saturday, December 16, 2017
facebook

google plus
Punjab

Posted at: Dec 8, 2017, 1:35 AM; last updated: Dec 8, 2017, 1:35 AM (IST)

Waiting in wings, Cong MLAs eye Cabinet berths

Those in race

  • Young faces of the Rahul brigade — Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Kuljit Nagra, Vijay Inder Singla, Bharat Bhushan Ashu — are in the fray, besides senior legislators such as Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Amrik Singh Dhillon, Surender Dawar, Rakesh Pandey, OP Soni, Raj Kumar Verka and Sukhjinder Randhawa.

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7

With Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today announcing that he will go for Cabinet expansion after the Gujarat Assembly results on December 18, speculation is rife that he is keen on divesting certain portfolios as he is overworked. The possibility of reshuffle some of the current portfolios held by his Cabinet colleagues is also not being ruled out.

Besides holding the charge of the Personnel Department, Home Affairs and Vigilance, the CM during a recent Cabinet meeting had hinted at retaining certain departments like agriculture, dairy farming and horticulture.

Amarinder presently holds several crucial portfolios, including transport, agriculture, and excise and taxation. With around 42 departments being looked after by him, nine of his Cabinet ministers are left with just one or two departments each.

With over eight months in power, pressure is building up on the CM to expand the Cabinet. Since August, several party MLAs have been lobbying for a Cabinet berth. Amarinder had inducted nine ministers, seven in Cabinet and two as ministers of state on March 16.

As per rules, Punjab cannot have more than 18 ministers, including the CM. There is also growing discontent among Dalit MLAs who claim there should be at least five Dalit ministers. Presently, there are three such ministers — Charanjit Channi, Aruna Chaudhary and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.

Apart from the young faces from the Rahul brigade — Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Kuljit Nagra, Vijay Inder Singla, Bharat Bhushan Ashu — senior legislators like Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Amrik Singh Dhillon, Surender Dawar, Rakesh Pandey, OP Soni, Raj Kumar Verka and Sukhjinder Randhawa are hoping for a berth.

Party insiders said the CM wanted to induct young faces, but the pressure by veteran legislators was a stumbling block. With the presence of Manpreet badal and Navjot Singh Sidhu, the CM is likely to strike out a balance of the pressure groups within the party while looking at the criteria of caste, religion, region and loyalty.

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On