Ministers’ list almost done, Punjab CM Channi in Delhi again

Ministers’ list almost done, Punjab CM Channi in Delhi again

Sunil Jakhar

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24

Hours after former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sunil Jakhar met party leader Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Friday, the announcement on ministers picked for the Charanjit Singh Channi-led Cabinet was delayed and the CM summoned to Delhi, barely 12 hours after his return from the national Capital.

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Sunil Jakhar meets Rahul Gasndhi, gives inputs on Cabinet

Rahul picking Channi a bold move: Jakhar

Chandigarh: Former Pradesh Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Friday said Rahul Gandhi picking Charanjit Singh Channi as Punjab CM was a “bold move.” Jakhar is learnt to have played an important role in Cabinet expansion as well as appointments for top administrative posts. TNS

Channi had flown to Delhi on Thursday evening for discussions on Cabinet expansion with Rahul.

AICC general secretary and Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat along with Harish Chaudhary and Ajay Maken were at Kapurthala House, the CM’s Delhi residence, till late in the evening.

The ministers’ list is expected to be announced on Saturday. Channi in the past four days has flown thrice to Delhi amid hectic lobbying.

Jakhar, who is expected to be given a key role in Punjab affairs, is learnt to have given to the party leadership his input on the induction of at least two new faces. “Five ministers in former CM Capt Amarinder Singh ministry are being left out,” said a party leader, who did not want to be identified. Among those seen lobbying at Kapurthala House were Congress MP Ravneet Bittu and MLAs Lakhbir Singh Lakha, Madan Lal Jalalpur and Sangat Singh Gilzian.

Channi first held a meeting with senior leaders KC Venugopal, Harish Rawat, Harish Chaudhary and Ajay Maken and then with Rahul Gandhi.

The names of Pargat Singh, Raj Kumar Verka, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Raja Warring and Kuljit Singh Nagra are doing the rounds.

Pargat Singh, considered close to Pradesh Congress chief Navjot Sidhu, is Punjab Congress general secretary. Gilzian is working president of the party’s state unit.

After the Kapurthala House meeting ended, Channi reached Rahul’s residence at about 10.30 pm, where AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was present too. The three held detailed discussions.

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