thinda: Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh will take oath as the state’s 26th Chief Minister in Chandigarh on Thursday morning in a simple ceremony. The party has decided to elevate nine other legislators to take the oath of office and secrecy along with him in the same event, which party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh are also expected to attend at Raj Bhawan.
According to information, Amarinder Singh, after getting it approved from the high command in Delhi, has handed over a list of seven male MLAs-Brahm Mohindra, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manpreet Singh Badal, Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, Tript Rajinder Bajwa, Rana Gurjit Singh and Charanjit Singh Channi and two female legislators-Aruna Chaudhary and Razia Sultana, to Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore to administer the oath.
Interestingly, all seven male legislators will get Cabinet rank in Amarinder’s government, whereas the two female MLAs have been decided to be taken as ministers of state (independent charge). The allocation of portfolios is yet to be decided.
While selecting the names, the party seems to have opted for experienced names as it has come in the power after 10 years with a promise to give a major fillip to the state’s development and exchequer. However, in the attempt, youth is somehow missing to get the expected representation.
As there were many other prominent faces in the party, who were expecting to get the berth in the list, the party insiders expect the expansion of Cabinet after some gap, most likely after the Budget session.
Among those dropped legislators, Vijayinder Singla, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Kuljit Nagra and O P Soni are the prominent ones.
It is pertinent to mention that the state can have a maximum of 18 ministers and in the previous Badal-government, all 18 positions were filled. The swearing-in ceremony of Badal, who was sworn-in as the CM for the fourth time in 2007, had taken place at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium at Mohali. In 2012, the ceremony was held at historic Chapar Chiri Banda Bahadur Memorial, about 25 km from Chandigarh.
However, this is the second time that Captain Amarinder Singh would be taking the oath as chief minister having served in that capacity in 2002-2007. Notably, even earlier, he had opted to swear-in at Raj Bhawan only.
This time, Amarinder Singh has decided to go for an austerity mode, with also directing his partymen not to go flamboyant in inviting their guests.
Among those dropped legislators, Vijayinder Singla, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Kuljit Nagra and O P Soni are the prominent ones , Sadhu Singh Dharmsot , Charanjit Singh, ChanniManpreet Singh Badal, Rana Gurjit Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Razia Sultana, Aruna Chaudhary, Tript Rajinder Bajwa Brahm Mohindra
Further expansion of the council of ministers is expected after the budget session