Capt rejigs portfolios of all but 4 ministers; Sidhu loses local govt, gets power

CHANDIGARH: Hours after the first State Cabinet meeting following the Lok Sabha elections, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday evening rejigged the portfolios of most of the ministers, to make some vital changes in the key ministries.

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 6

Hours after the first State Cabinet meeting following the Lok Sabha elections, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday evening rejigged the portfolios of most of the ministers, to make some vital changes in the key ministries.

Barring four ministers, there are some changes in the portfolios of all the ministers as a result of the reallocations, which the Chief Minister said would help further streamline the government systems and processes, and bring more transparency and efficacy into the various departments. 

With the Congress government in the state nearing the mid-term mark, Captain Amarinder hoped the exercise would also re-energise his team and bring a freshness into the working of the major departments.

The Chief Minister, who had hinted at changes in the portfolios of his Council of Ministers after the completion of the poll process, has allocated the crucial Local Government to his senior-most colleague, Brahm Mohindra, who was earlier handling Health and Family Welfare, which has now been entrusted to Balbir Sidhu.

Local Government was earlier with Navjot Singh Sidhu, who now gets Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources. His other previous portfolios of Tourism and Cultural Affairs goes to Charanjit Singh Channi, who retains Technical Education, Industrial Training and Employment General, with his Science and Technology portfolio taken over by the Chief Minister.

Balbir Sidhu’s portfolio of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy has been entrusted, under the new scheme of things, to Tript Bajwa, along with Higher Education. Bajwa also retains Rural Development and Panchayats. Bajwa has been given Higher Education and Animal Husbandry because the government intends to give greater priority to these sectors.

However, Bajwa has been divested of Housing and Urban Development, which the Chief Minister has handed over to Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, in place of Revenue, which goes to Gurpreet Singh Kangar, who is also handling Rehabilitation and Disaster Management.

Manpreet Singh Badal continues to take care of Finance, Planning and Programme Implementation but the Chief Minister has decided to take Governance Reforms into his own fold. School Education has been shifted from Om Prakash Soni to Vijay Inder Singla, who retains Public Works but hands over Information Technology to Captain Amarinder. 

Soni will now take care of Medical Education and Research, Freedom Fighters and Food Processing departments.

In addition to Sports and Youth Affairs, Rana Gurmeet Sodhi will now also be in charge of NRI Affairs, which was under the Chief Minister’s purview earlier. Transport has been moved from Aruna Chowdhary’s basket and handed over to Razia Sultan, who retains Water Supply but has been divested of Higher Education. Aruna Chowdhary takes over the Social Security, Women & Child Development departments.

The four ministers in whose portfolios no changes have been made are Sadhu Singh Dharamsot (Forests, Printing and Stationery, SC/BC Welfare), Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa (Cooperation, Jails), Sunder Sham Arora (Industries and Commerce), and Bharat Bhushan Ashu (Food & Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs).

Can't be taken for granted: Sidhu

Navjot Singh Sidhu, who stayed away from the Cabinet meeting, held a press conference at his residence to list his achievements regarding the performance of the party in urban areas in the recently polls.

He said he could not be taken for granted as he had been a performer his whole life—“be it cricket, showbiz, motivational talks or politics”. 

Sidhu did a detailed analysis of the party’s performance in rural and urban areas.

He claimed that he was being singled out for his “performance” in the recently held elections.

Full list of portfolios

Capt Amarinder Singh

Administrative Reforms, Agriculture and Farmers'
Welfare, Horticulture, Conservation of Land
and Water, Civil Aviation,
Defence Services Welfare, Excise & Taxation,
General Administration,
Home Affairs and Justice, Hospitality, Investment
Promotion Information & Public Relations, Legal &
Legislative Affairs Personnel, Environment, Vigilance,
Wildlife, Science & Technology, Governance Reforms,
Information Technology

Brahm Mohindra Local Government, Parliamentary Affairs,
Elections, Removal of Grievances
Navjot Singh Sidhu Power, New and Renewable Energy Sources
Manpreet Singh Badal Finance, Planning, Programme Implementation
Om Parkash Soni Medical Education and Research,
Freedom Fighters, Food Processing
Sadhu Singh Dharamsot Forest, Printing and Stationery,
Welfare of SC and BCs
Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa Rural Development and Panchayats,
Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and
Dairy Development, Higher Education
Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi Sports and Youth Affairs, NRI Affairs
Charanjit Singh Channi Technical Education and Industrial
Training, Employment Generation,
Tourism and Cultural Affairs
Aruna Chaudhary Social Security, Women and Child Development
Razia Sultana Water Supply and Sanitation, Transport
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa Cooperation, Jails
Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria Water Resources, Mining & Geology,
Housing and Urban Development
Gurpreet Singh Kangar Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management
Balbir Singh Sidhu Health and Family Welfare, Labour
Vijay Inder Singla School Education, Public works
Sunder Sham Arora Industries and Commerce
Bharat Bhushan Ashu Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs