New Delhi / Chandigarh:
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi reportedly discussed the formation of his cabinet with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Thursday, sources said.
Channi, who arrived in the nation’s capital in the evening, discussed the list of names to be included in his cabinet earlier with the Secretary General of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in charge of Punjab affairs, Harish Rawat.
Subsequently, we learn that the two leaders met and discussed the same thing with Mr. Gandhi.
Channi is likely to replace a few ministers who are believed to be loyal to former Punjabi chief minister Amarinder Singh. There are also two vacancies that need to be filled in place of Amarinder Singh and the head of the state Congress, Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Mr Sidhu’s post has not been filled since he stepped down from the Punjab cabinet in 2019.
The incumbent President of the Punjab Congress, Sangat Singh Gilzian, and party leader Manpreet Singh Badal were also in Delhi, the sources said.
Mr. Channi’s visit to the nation’s capital is growing in importance as Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra returned from Shimla to the nation’s capital on Wednesday.
Former Punjabi Congress leader Sunil Jakhar had accompanied Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on a flight to Delhi.
Mr. Channi, his two assistants Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and OP Soni; and Mr Sidhu, traveled to Delhi on Tuesday to discuss the expansion of the state cabinet with the leadership of Congress.
They met Congress Secretary General KC Venugopal and Mr. Rawat.
The cabinet is expected to see new faces, the sources said.
The names of Pargat Singh, Raj Kumar Verka, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Surjit Dhiman, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring and Kuljit Singh Nagra do the trick.
Pargat Singh, considered close to Mr Sidhu, is currently the secretary general of the Punjab Congress and Gilzian is a working chairman of the party’s state unity.
There is speculation that Amarinder Singh’s loyal loyalists – Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, who was the sports minister, and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, who was the social justice minister – could be removed from the cabinet.