Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi (File pic)
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi (File pic)

Amarinder Singh's close aides to lose their ministerial berth in Channi's cabinet

By Siddharth Sharma | Updated: Sep 22, 2021 02:11 IST

New Delhi [India], September 22 (ANI): The close aides of the former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh are likely to face the heat as the discussions over the cabinet of newly-appointed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjeet Singh Channi is underway.
According to sources, three ministers including Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi and Gurpreet Singh Kangar can lose their ministerial berth.
Five new faces are to be inducted into Channi's cabinet, sources said.
This comes as the newly-appointed Punjab CM with his two deputies Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and OP Saini and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu met All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary KC Venugopal and AICC in-charge of Punjab Harish Rawat in the national capital on Tuesday to discuss the cabinet reshuffle-cum-expansion.
The meeting was held at the residence of Venugopal which lasted for almost an hour.
Punjab Congress Working President Kuljeet Nagra also joined the meet along with MLA Pargat Singh.
After the meeting, Rawat claimed that everything is fine at the party and the new cabinet will be announced soon.
"Everything is fine and will be sorted out soon, things are moving in a positive way and a new cabinet will be announced soon," the Punjab Congress in charge told reporters here.
Meanwhile, MLA Pargat Singh, who is one of the close aides of Navjot Singh Sidhu, was appointed as General Secretary for the Punjab unit of the party.
According to the leader present in the meeting, the names have been discussed who are to be dropped from the cabinet and those who are to be inducted taking into consideration the social engineering of the state.
However, the final decision regarding the new Punjab cabinet will be taken by Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi.
Another round of discussion will be held with Rahul Gandhi before any decision and the process will be concluded in 3-4 days, the sources added.
The new batch of ministers is to be appointed considering the social engineering and caste combinations as the state will go for assembly polls in few months.
Although Congress top leadership is not in Delhi, a leader involved in the deliberations said that a draft list will be finalised in the meeting after the green signal from top leadership.
Cabinet expansion will be done in a few days as not much time is left to fulfil the promises and announcements made by the government.
Channi was sworn in as Chief Minister of Punjab on Monday. The three-time MLA from Rupnagar's Chamkaur Sahib is the state's first Dalit Chief Minister.
On Sunday, after several rounds of parleys, Channi was selected for the post by the party high command, following Captain Amarinder Singh's resignation.
Amarinder Singh on Saturday submitted his resignation to state Governor Banwarilal Purohit, following months of infighting between him and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
These developments came months before the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections. (ANI)