PB cong battle heats up, Amarinder strips Sidhu of local bodies portfolio

PB cong battle heats up, Amarinder strips Sidhu of local bodies portfolio
Navjot Singh Sidhu and Amarinder Singh (File)
CHANDIGARH, JUN 6 (AGENCIES): | Publish Date: 6/7/2019 12:30:12 AM IST

Hours after the first state cabinet meeting following the Lok Sabha elections, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday evening rejigged the portfolios of most ministers, including Navjot Singh Sidhu, to make some vital changes in the key ministries.

Singh stripped his cabinet colleague Sidhu of his local bodies portfolio, hours after the outspoken cricketer-turned-politician skipped a cabinet meeting and gave statements against the chief minister. 

The reallocation will bring in “freshness and efficacy”, said the CM.

Singh, who had hinted at changes in the portfolios of his council of ministers after the completion of the poll process, has allocated the crucial local government portfolio to his senior-most colleague, Brahm Mohindra. Mohindra was earlier handling health and family welfare, which has now been entrusted to Balbir Sidhu.

While the Congress had suffered a humiliating defeat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Punjab was one of the few states where it emerged victorious.

Sidhu now gets Power and New & Renewable Energy Sources ministries. His other previous portfolios of Tourism and Cultural Affairs goes to Charanjit Singh Channi, who retains Technical Education, Industrial Training & Employment General, with his Science and Technology portfolio taken over by the Chief Minister. Balbir Sidhu’s portfolio of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy has been entrusted, under the new scheme of things, to Tript Bajwa, along with Higher Education. Bajwa also retains Rural Development and Panchayats. Bajwa has also been given Higher Education and Animal Husbandry. Manpreet Singh Badal continues to take care of Finance, Planning and Programme Implementation but the Chief Minister has decided to take Governance Reforms into his own fold. 

School Education ministry has been shifted from Om Prakash Soni to Vijay Inder Singla, who retains Public Works but hands over Information Technology to Captain.

In addition to Sports & Youth Affairs, Rana Gurmeet Sodhi will now also be in charge of NRI Affairs, which was under the Chief Minister’s purview earlier. Transport has been moved from Aruna Chowdhary’s fold and handed over to Razia Sultan, who retains Water Supply but has been divested of Higher Education. Aruna Chowdhary takes over the Social Security, Women & Child Development departments.

The four ministers in whose portfolios no changes have been made are Sadhu Singh Dharamsot (Forests, Printing & Stationery, SC/BC Welfare), Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa (Cooperation, Jails), Sunder Sham Arora (Industries & Commerce), and Bharat Bhushan Ashu (Food & Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs).



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