Days after taking oath as new Punjab Chief Minister, Charanjit Singh Channi has finalised a list of 15 members for his new cabinet - six of them completely new and at least one returning to the ministerial position after three years. According to NDTV, the 15 MLAs will take oath today at 4.30 are: Brahm Mohindra, Manpreet Singh Badal, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbindr Singh Sarkaria, Rana Gurjeet Singh, Aruna Chaudary, Razia Sultana, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Vijay Inder Singla, Randeep Singh Nabha, Raj Kumar Verka, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Pargat Singh, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Gukrirat Singh Kotli.
However, Rana Gurjeet Singh's inclusion in the new cabinet hasn't made few Congress leaders in the state happy. Six MLAs and former Punjab Pradesh Congress president Mohinder Singh Kaypee have written to state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, demanding that Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh not be sworn in as the minister for his alleged involvement in corruption.
The six MLAs who wrote the letter included-Navtej Singh Cheema, Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, Bawa Henry, Dr. Raj Kumar, Pawan Adiya and Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
In a letter to Sidhu and Channi the MLAs wrote: "We the undersigned MLA and leaders of Doaba wish to convey huge resentment amongst the public and the Congress cadre on the proposed inclusion of tainted Rana Gurjeet Singh. Needless to mention, he was dropped from the cabinet in January 2018 due to the infamous mining scandal involving him, his family and his companies directly in the said scandal."
Rana Gurjit Singh, after facing flak from the Opposition over allegations of impropriety in the auction of sand mining contracts, had to resign from the previous Amarinder Singh cabinet in 2018. At that time, he had held Irrigation and Power portfolios.
They also pointed out that despite the Doaba region having approximately 38 percent Dalit population, no representation in the proposed cabinet expansion has been given to a leader from the community.
Among MLAs from Doaba region proposed to be inducted in the cabinet include Pargat Singh and Rana Gurjit Singh.
In another development, Amloh legislator Randeep Singh Nabha is also learnt to be upset over being ignored for the ministerial post in the new cabinet. Six-time MLA Rakesh Pandey too expressed unhappiness over the proposed names in the expansion alleging seniors were ignored.
(With agency inputs)
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