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Badal keeps vigilance, Dhindsa gets finance
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has allocated portfolios to all his ministers who were sworn in as Cabinet ministers at a grand ceremony at Chappar Chiri yesterday.

It took Badal and his son Sukhbir almost a day to do a balancing act, including persuading alliance partners BJP to change the list of portfolios it had supplied to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

By prevailing upon the BJP, Badal has managed to get work evenly distributed among the four BJP ministers so that it can be easily handled.

However, most ministers have got more than one department which will keep them on their toes. The Chief Minister has made it clear that he expected all ministers to be present in the Punjab Civil Secretariat to attend to visitors every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Badal senior has kept for himself the departments of personnel, general administration, power, cooperation, science technology and environment, vigilance and employment generation. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal has been entrusted with home, governance reforms, housing, excise and taxation, investment promotion, sports and youth services welfare and civil aviation.

The leader of the BJP in the Vidhan Sabha Bhagat Chunni Lal is the new Local Government Minister and he will also handle medical education and research. Sarwan Singh Phillaur is the new jails, tourism, cultural affairs, archives and museums and printing and stationery minister. Badalís son-in-law Adesh Partap Singh Kairon has retained his old ministries of Food and Civil Supplies and Information technology.

Transport, legal and legislative affairs and elections have been allotted to Ajit Singh Kohar. Transport was with the BJP in the previous Cabinet, but is now with the SAD.

Gulzar Singh Ranike too has got his old ministry of animal husbandry and fisheries along with dairy development and welfare of SC and BC.

Bhagat Chunni Lal has only been given medical education and research while the main health department has been allocated to Madan Mohan Mittal. Besides health and family welfare, Mittal has also got social security and development of women and children and parliamentary affairs.

The ministry of finance has gone to Parminder Singh Dhindsa who, along with finance, will also look after planning, institutional finance and banking and programme implementation. Janmeja Singh Sekhon has got his old department of irrigation.

Jathedar Tota Singh, who had been struggling to get agriculture has finally succeeded and will have agriculture as his only responsibility.

Bibi Jagir Kaur will be minister for rural water supply and sanitation, defence services welfare, removal of grievances and welfare of pensioners.

BJP minister from Fazilka Surjit Kumar Jyani, who had transport in the previous Cabinet will now head the ministry of forest and wildlife along with labour.

Bikram Majithia is the new revenue and rehabilitation minister. He will also handle the departments of information and public relations, non-conventional energy and NRI affairs. Education, higher education and languages have been given to Sikander Singh Malooka. BJPís Anil Joshi is the new industry and commerce minister. He will also handle technical training and industrial training. After the exit of Ranjit Singh Brhampura, rural development and panchayat have now come into the bag of Surjit Singh Rakhra. Lastly, the junior-most minister in the Cabinet Sharanjit Singh Dhillon is the new PWD Minister.

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