Seven new faces likely in Punjab Cabinet; oath ceremony today

5 ministers in Amarinder Singh govt may be ignored | Sahota takes charge of Punjab police

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25

The Congress high command has finalised the names of 15 MLAs to be inducted in the Cabinet headed by Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. Accompanied by Deputy CMs Sukhjinder Randhawa and OP Soni, the CM today met Governor Banwarilal Purohit at 12.30 pm. He later told the media the swearing-in for the new ministers would take place at 4.30 pm on Sunday.

Also read: Meet the new faces in Charanjit Channi cabinet

Opposition attacks govt for selecting ‘tainted’ leaders


CM Charanjit Channi with Deputy CMs Sukhjinder Randhawa and OP Soni outside Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh on Saturday. Manoj Mahajan

The CM and his two deputies remained tight-lipped on the names but sources said the Cabinet would have seven new faces. Some former ministers loyal to Capt Amarinder Singh too were among the probables. The CM is learnt to have called up those to be part of his team. “Anything can happen at the last moment. The names will be revealed just before the oath ceremony”, observed a senior leader.

Among the new faces likely are two-time MLA Raja Warring from Gidderbaha, three-time MLA from Amritsar -West Dr Raj Kumar Verka, three-time MLA from Urmar Sangat Singh Gilzian, former minister and MLA from Jalandhar Cantt Pargat Singh, two-time MLA from Fatehgarh Sahib Kuljit Nagra and two-time MLA from Khanna Gurkirat Kotli.

Former Irrigation Minister and MLA from Kapurthala Rana Gurjeet Singh is expected to make a comeback. A minister in Capt Amarinder’s Cabinet, he had stepped down after an alleged scam regarding allotment of sand mines. Till Saturday evening, there were reports that Nabha MLA Randeep Nabha could replace another new face. Though most probables chose to play it down, there were reports of celebrations by supporters of Kotli, Verka and Rana Gurjeet Sodhi.

Among the former ministers likely to be taken again are Brahm Mohindra, Manpreet Badal, Sukhbinder Sarkaria, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Vijay Inder Singla, Aruna Chaudhary, Razia Sultana and Bharat Bhushan Ashu. Former ministers Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Sunder Sham Arora, Rana Gurmit Sodhi, Balbir Singh Sidhu and Gurpreet Kangar are unlikely to find a place in the expanded Cabinet. Arora said he had already vacated his official residence.

Channi was summoned to Delhi by the Congress high command on Friday to discuss the Cabinet expansion, barely hours after he had returned from the national Capital.

THE PROBABLES

New faces: Raja Warring (Gidderbaha) Raj Kumar Verka (Amritsar-West), Sangat Singh Gilzian (Urmar), Pargat Singh (Jalandhar Cantt), Kuljit Nagra (Fatehgarh Sahib), Gurkirat Kotli (Khanna) and Rana Gurjeet Singh (Kapurthala)

Old faces: Brahm Mohindra, Manpreet Badal, Sukhbinder Sarkaria, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Vijay Inder Singla, Aruna Chaudhary, Razia Sultana and Bharat Bhushan Ashu

The ignored: Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Sunder Sham Arora, Rana Gurmit Sodhi, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Gurpreet Kangar

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