Punjab

NO UNFAIRNESS IN SELECTION OF NEW MINISTERS, BALANCE HAS BEEN MAINTAINED, SAYS PUNJAB CM

April 21, 2018 07:31 PM

*ASSURES ALL REMAINING PARTY MLAs WOULD BE ACCOMMODATED IN BOARDS/CORPORATIONS

*SAYS PORTFOLIOS WOULD BE ANNOUNCED BY TOMORROW, EACH MINISTER LIKELY TO GET 2 DEPTS

Chandigarh (JS Kaler)

Denying any 'unfairness' in the selection of the new cabinet ministers, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said adequate representation had been given to all sections and regions, with seniority the key criteria.

There were no “swollen faces” in the party, as the media chose to call them, said the Chief Minister, responding to questions from journalists in an informal chat after the swearing-in ceremony at the Raj Bhavan here.

The focus had been on striking a regional and caste balance, in order to ensure holistic development of the state, said the Chief Minister, replying to a question regarding dissatisfaction among some Congress MLAs.

To a question about certain MLAs having quit party posts after failing to find a berth in the cabinet, Captain Amarinder Singh said all issues would be amicably resolved.

With four Dalit ministers already in the cabinet, another member of the community could not have been accommodated, Captain Amarinder Singh said, in response to another question. He pointed out that nearly 25% of the state cabinet was currently being represented by Dalits.

The Chief Minister assured that all the Congress MLAs who had not found place in the Council of Ministers would be inducted into the various Boards and Corporations. The state has 7000 jobs, ranging from the Market Committees to the Planning Boards, that can be given to party workers, he added.

The expansion of the cabinet was needed to facilitate better governance, said the Chief Minister. Asked about allocation of portfolios, he said the same would be announced by Sunday. The allocation would be done in such a way that every minister is entrusted with the work of two departments, he added.

Captain Amarinder Singh said he would retain the portfolios that remain after the allocation, and added that his `personal favourite’ was anything to do with Agriculture.

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