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Posted at: Feb 7, 2018, 1:31 AM; last updated: Feb 7, 2018, 1:31 AM (IST)

CM to take up Cabinet expansion with Rahul

Nine berths vacant, 42 departments with Capt
CM to take up Cabinet expansion with Rahul
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh meets Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today left for Delhi to discuss the details of reallocation of portfolios and Cabinet expansion with party president Rahul Gandhi. Restructuring of the PPCC is also on cards, it is learnt.

With former Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar reluctant to rejoin the government after the setting aside of his appointment by Punjab and Haryana High Court, the CM is keen on distributing among his Cabinet colleagues a number of portfolios handled on his behalf by Kumar.

At present, the CM is handling over 42 departments. Kumar had been instrumental in crucial decisions taken by the CMO.

Amarinder wants to expand the Cabinet in the first week of March, ahead of the Budget session, which is expected to begin on March 8.

At present, nine berths are vacant. Maintaining a mix of youth and talent, three new faces from the Rahul brigade — Kuljit Nagra, Vijay Inder Singla and Bharat Bhushan Ashu — are the frontrunners. Urmar MLA Sangat Singh Gilzian may also find a place in the Cabinet as an OBC representative.

From Majha region, there is pressure on the party to induct Sukhjinder Randhawa and Amritsar MLA Raj Kumar Verka. The expansion will see crucial portfolios of power, irrigation and industries being distributed among senior most ministers and MLAs.

AICC session in Mohali?

Amarinder is expected to extend a formal invite to Rahul for holding the AICC plenary in Mohali. A senior leader said since Punjab was ruled by the Congress, Mohali had been on the top of the list for holding the plenary.

Discusses stray dog menace with Maneka

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today assured Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi of a detailed inquiry into the growing menace of dog fights, coupled with betting related to the same, in the state.

The assurance came during a meeting with the Union Minister, who called on Capt Amarinder here.

According to state government spokesperson, Capt Amarinder expressed concern over reports that dogs were being pushed from across the border to promote dog fights and encourage illegal activities such as betting. The CM promised a thorough probe into the matter.

During the meeting, the issue of stray dogs in Punjab was also discussed, with the Chief Minister seeking the Union Ministry’s support in dealing with it.

Responding to his concern, Maneka suggested setting up of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) units across the state to curb the menace. She also suggested dog sterilisation under the animal birth control programme to control the population of stray dogs.


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