New Delhi/Chandigarh, Sept 21
Newly appointed Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi, his deputies Sukhjinder Randhawa and OP Soni and state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu discussed ministerial probables with AICC leaders in New Delhi today. The all-new state Cabinet is likely to take oath this week.
In race for berth
- Frontrunners for ministerial berths: Raj Kumar Verka | Pargat Singh | Sangat Singh Gilzian | Surjit Dhiman | Amrinder Singh Raja Warring | Madan Lal Jalalpur
- Speaker, Dy Speaker of Vidhan Sabha could also be changed
- List of probables prepared keeping caste equations and regional balance in mind
Names of potential entrants were deliberated upon at an evening meeting the leaders had with AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal at the latter’s residence. Also present were AICC general secretary Harish Rawat and Punjab Congress working president Kuljit Nagra.
Channi submitted the list to Venugopal. The final call would be taken by Rahul Gandhi. After the meeting, Rawat said, “We will take a decision on the Cabinet formation very soon.” In the 18-member Punjab Cabinet, slots of the CM and two Deputy CMs have already been filled. This leaves space for 15 ministers. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha could also be changed.
Sources said the list of probable ministers had been prepared keeping caste combinations and regional balance in mind ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections. The Cabinet expansion could take place in two or three days, sources said.
In the outgoing Cabinet led by Amarinder Singh, Majha and Malwa were predominantly represented as compared to Doaba. The party is apprehensive about left-out leaders contacting the Amarinder camp after the Cabinet expansion.
It is learnt that at least four ministers in the Amarinder government who faced graft allegations could be dropped and at least six new faces inducted. The frontrunners for possible ministerial berths are Raj Kumar Verka, Pargat Singh, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Surjit Dhiman, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and Madan Lal Jalalpur. — TNS
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