M A I N   N E W S

Portfolios of Punjab BJP ministers reshuffled
Sarbjit Dhaliwal/TNS

Chandigarh, September 24
On the recommendation of the BJP leadership that was not duly satisfied with the functioning and performance of its some ministers, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today reshuffled the portfolios of BJP ministers in his cabinet. On Badal’s advice, Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil has approved the reshuffle.

Before the arrival of BJP president Rajnath Singh here on Sunday, BJP’s top leaders, including Punjab BJP affairs in charge Shanta Kumar, held a detailed discussion on swapping of portfolios of their party ministers. The performance of all ministers was debated in the meeting.

On Monday, the decision about the swapping of portfolios of BJP ministers was conveyed to the CM, who did the needful this afternoon.

Chunni Lal Bhagat, who earlier held the important portfolio of Local Government and Medical Education and Research, has been been given Forest, Wild Life and Labour.

Madan Mohan Mittal, who earlier held the portfolio of Health and Family Welfare, Social Security and Development of Women and Children along with Parliamentary Affairs, gets important portfolios of Industry and Commerce, Technical Education and Industrial Training and Parliamentary Affairs.

Forest and Wildlife Preservation and Labour Minister Surjit Kumar Jiyani has been given the portfolios of Health and Family Welfare, Social Security and Development of Women and Children.

Anil Joshi, who was earlier holding Industries and Commerce, Technical Education and Industrial Training portfolios, has got equally important portfolio of Local Government and Medical Education and Research Department. All municipal bodies and improvement trusts come under the Local Government Department.

Whether the BJP leadership has done a right thing by getting the portfolios of its ministers reshuffled a few months before the Lok Sabha elections? That is the question being debated in the political circles.

Political observes say the party has taken a wrong decision. It has provided the Opposition a handle to strike against it hard in days to come. Observers say if the BJP leadership was not satisfied with the performance or functioning of its ministers, it should have got inducted new faces in the government.

Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha Sunil Jakhar said BJP ministers were such a poor performers that they should have stepped out from the cabinet. “There is no fun in being a minister just for carrying a flag and a government emblem on the car, without showing any performance in the government,” said Jakhar.

“The BJP ministers badly failed to protect interests of urbanites and they have been yielding to every proposal of its senior coalition partner SAD regarding taxes in urban areas,” he added.

There are two slots vacant in the Punjab Cabinet. Bibi Jagir Kaur and Tota Singh had resigned as ministers following court verdict against them.





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