Heartburn for some Punjab MLAs, 'will be adjusted soon'

Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, July 4

The induction of five new ministers in the Punjab Cabinet today came with its share of “heartburn” for some MLAs of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Some two-time and first-time legislators, who were lobbying hard to get a Cabinet berth, were conspicuous by their absence at the oath-taking ceremony.

Changes in admn inevitable

On Director General of Police (DGP) VK Bhawra being replaced by Gaurav Yadav as the acting DGP, CM Bhagwant Mann said changes in the administration were inevitable.

Cabinet meet tomorrow

The newly inducted ministers will be present in the Cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday. The Council of Ministers will discuss and give the go-ahead to the 300-unit free power scheme. Subsequently, the scheme will be notified.

Rooms being spruced up

Since the swearing-in ceremony of the new ministers was scheduled late in the evening on Monday, the new ministers did not go to the Punjab Civil Secretariat. Since morning, the rooms to be allotted to the new ministers were being spruced up.

Sources say at least two of these MLAs went to Delhi to meet the AAP top brass, seeking its intervention for inclusion in the Council of Ministers and highlighting the work they had put in for the party before the Assembly elections. The party top brass was reportedly unimpressed and asked these MLAs to continue working for the party.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said those who were upset would get some major responsibility soon.

“No MLA is less in capability than the other. Everyone will get a major responsibility so that the party provides good governance to the people. Legislators, too, will get important assignments, whether they have won once or twice,” he said.

Sources in the party say the process of “adjusting” MLAs as chairmen of boards, corporations and other government undertakings will begin now. Some party leaders are expected to be appointed as advisers.

“The matter cannot be left simmering. It cannot be allowed to become a breeding ground for dissent within the party. Traditional parties, rejected by Punjabis in the elections, could use this as an opportunity to poach on our MLAs,” a senior party leader told The Tribune.

#bhagwant mann

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