Punjab CM meets Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, discusses Cabinet formation
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi met Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Friday night and is learned to have discussed the new Cabinet formation in the state, sources said. Channi was summoned to Delhi by the Congress high command to discuss the expansion of the Cabinet, just hours after he had returned from the national capital.
Some ministers in the previous government likely to be dropped
Hectic deliberations are on between Channi and top party leaders to decide the names of ministers in Punjab's Cabinet, the sources said. Some of the ministers in the previous Amarinder Singh government are likely to be dropped, they further said. It is the Chief Minister's third visit to the national capital in the past few days.
Channi had also held discussions with the AICC General Secretary
Channi had gone to Delhi on Thursday evening where he discussed the formation of his Cabinet with Gandhi. He had also held discussions with All-India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Harish Rawat. After the meeting, Channi returned early Friday morning. Meanwhile, former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar is learned to have met Congress leader Gandhi.
Jakhar might be rehabilitated with some post
There is now speculation that Jakhar, who narrowly missed out on succeeding Amarinder Singh as CM, maybe rehabilitated with some post. Jakhar was the frontrunner for the post of the Congress Legislature Party leader.
The state Cabinet is likely to see some fresh faces
However, party leaders, including Ambika Soni, had suggested that a Sikh should occupy the top post. The Congress picked Channi, who belongs to the Dalit community. The state Cabinet is likely to see some fresh faces. Names of Pargat Singh, Raj Kumar Verka, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Surjit Dhiman, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, and Kuljit Singh Nagra are doing the rounds.
Amarinder Singh's staunch loyalists may be dropped from the Cabinet
Pargat Singh, considered close to Navjot Singh Sidhu, is at present the Punjab Congress general secretary and Gilzian is a working president of the party's state unit. There is speculation that Amarinder Singh's staunch loyalists - Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, who is the sports minister, and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, who is the social justice empowerment minister - may be dropped from the Cabinet.