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Amarinder reshuffles Cabinet
Bhattal, Bajwa, Singla gainers
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Rajinder Kaur Bhattal
Rajinder Kaur Bhattal

Partap Singh Bajwa
Partap Singh Bajwa

Lal Singh
Lal Singh

Surinder Singla
Surinder Singla

Chandigarh, July 27
Just six months before the Assembly elections, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today ordered a major reshuffle of the portfolios of his Council of Ministers obviously to tone up the functioning of his government.

He has not dropped any of the ministers, the speculation with regard to which has been going on in the media for several weeks.

However, he has clearly given less important portfolios to the ministers with whose performance he was apparently not happy.

And satisfied with the functioning of some of them, the Chief Minister has rewarded them by adding more portfolios to their list.

Obviously, the reshuffle exercise at this stage has been undertaken to tighten the loose ends with regard to the working of some departments especially the departments of School Education and Health, the functioning of which was virtually in the mess.

About a week ago, the Chief Minister had indicated that the ‘tainted’ ministers would not be renominated as party candidates in the coming Assembly elections. However, only two days ago, the Chief Minister had given clean chit to all his ministers saying all of them were spotless. But today, the Chief Minister executed a major reshuffle.

Informed sources said Capt Amarinder Singh consulted the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, before going in for the reshuffle.

Both remained together for about three hours at the official residence of the Chief Minister this morning, it was learnt.

Mr Dullo had yesterday met the Chief Election Commissioner of India here to probe his mind on a suitable time for Assembly elections in Punjab.

Major gainer in the reshuffle are the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Lal Singh, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa and Mr Surinder Singla. The Chief Minister himself has shed some of the portfolios, retaining only 13 portfolios now whereas earlier he held 17 portfolios.

Mrs Bhattal, infact, stands fully rehabilitated. She has been given one of the most important portfolios of Power and Irrigation. Besides it, she would retain the portfolios of Higher Education and Languages and Medical Education and Research.

However, the portfolio of Technical Education has been withdrawn from her and it has been given to Mr R.C. Dogra, who was earlier having the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

Mr Surinder Singla, who holds the portfolio of Finance and Planning, and Banking, has also been given one more important portfolio of Health and Family Welfare that required a major overhauling.

Mr Lal Singh has been given the Food and Civil Supplies, Jails along with Civil Aviation.

He would also retain the Rural Development and Panchayats Department. Earlier, the portfolio of Irrigation and Power was with him but now it has gone to Mrs Bhattal.

Mr Partap Singh Bajwa has been given additional portfolio of School Education along with the PWD( B and R) which was earlier also with him only.

Mr Harnam Dass Johar has been divested of the charge of School Education and has been given the insignificant department of Public Health.

There is no change in the portfolios of Chowdhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Mr Sardul Singh.

Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri has been divested of the charge of an important portfolio of Housing and Urban Development and has been given the Transport Department which was with Mr Mohinder Singh Kay Pee.

And Mr Kay Pee has been given the Welfare of SCs and BCs, Social Security and Development of Women and Children and Information and Technology.

The Chief Minister has taken the charge of the portfolio of Housing and Urban Development. It is the only department that the Chief Minister has taken from any Minister.

Mr Avtar Henry has been given the portfolios of Industries and Commerce along with the Environment which were earlier with the Chief Minister.

Mr Amarjit Samra has been given the Department of Cooperation and NRIs and Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa has been given the Revenue and Rehabilitation along with the Relief and Resettlement.

Earlier, the Department of Cooperation was with Mr Jasjit Singh and the Revenue and Rehabilitation department was with Mr Samra.

The Minister of Sate, Mr Rakesh Pandey, has been given independent charge of the Horticulture and the Science and Technology.

The Minister of State, Mr Hans Raj Joshan, will hold the independent charge of Forests Department but will be attached with the Deputy Chief Minister for the charge of the Irrigation Department.

Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur, another Minister of State, has been given the independent charge of Cultural Affairs, Archives and Museums and Industrial Training.

Some changes have also been made as far as attaching of the chief parliamentary secretaries and parliamentary secretaries with ministers is concerned.

Commenting on the reshuffle, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Akali Dal(Amritsar), said corrupt ministers should have been dropped.

Portfolios

Capt Amarinder Singh: Personnel General Administration Home Affairs & Justice Housing & Urban Development Sports & Houth Services Welfare Legal & Legislative Affairs Vigilance Wild Life Information & Public Relations Agriculture Defence Services Welfare Removal of Girevances & Welfare of Pensioners Programme Implementation All those Departments that are not specifically allottedto any ministers.

Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister: Irrigation & Power Higher Education & Languages Medical Education & Research.

Ch Jagjit Singh: Same as earlier.

Mr Lal Singh: Food & Civil Supplies Rural Dev & Panchayats Jails Civil Aviation.

Mr Partap Singh Bajwa: PWD (B&R) School Education.

Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri: Transport.

Mr R.C. Dogra: Technical Education.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang: Same as earlier.

Mr Sardul Singh: Same as earlier.

Mr Mohinder Singh Kay Pee: Welfare of SCs & BCs Social Security & Dev of Women & Children Information Technology.

Mr Avtar Henry: Industries & Commerce Environment.

Mr Harnam Dass Johar: Public Health.

Mr Amarjit Singh Samra: Cooperation NRIs.

Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa: Revenue & Rehabilitation Relief & Resettlement.

Mr Surinder Singla: 1. Finance & Planning 2. Institutional Finance & Banking 3. Health & Family Welfare.

Ministers of State

Mr Rakesh Pandey: Horticulture (Independent Charge Science & Technology (Independent charge).

Mr Hans Raj Josan: Forests (Independent charge) Irrigation (Attached with Deputy CM).

Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur: Cultural Affairs, Archives & Museums (Independent charge) Industrial Training (Independent charge).

 



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