Cabinet expansion: CM likely to meet Rahul on April 19
CHANDIGARH: Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh is likely to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on April 19 to discuss the expansion of the state cabinet, and a host of other issues. Party’s state unit president Sunil Jakhar is also expected to take part in the meeting.
The expansion of the 13-month-old Captain cabinet has been on the cards for more than six months now.
The government decided to expand the cabinet after the Ludhiana municipal corporation elections on February 24. Before that, it was pushed beyond the civic body polls in December last year. Initially, discussions were held in the party circles for a cabinet expansion after the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll that took place in October last year.
There are eight ministers in the Amarinder cabinet and as per the formula, the state can have 18 ministers. The names doing rounds for a ministerial berth include OP Soni, Raj Kumar Verka, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Vijay Inder Singla, Kuljit Nagra, Sukhjinder Randhawa, Rakesh Pandey and Pargat Singh. Sidhu’s case was none of the Akalis’ business and they should stay out of it.
“There was no issue at all. I don’t know why it was blown out of proportion. I went to meet the CM that day (April 12) in the secretariat and CM being busy, I came back,” Jakhar told HT, contrary to reports that Jakhar was asked to deposit his phone before entering CM’S office. at which he left in a huff.
The CM again ruled out the need for Sidhu’s resignation over the Supreme Court proceedings in the road rage case against him. He lambasted the Akalis for seeking his resignation, asking them to keep out of the affair.
In reply to a query on the Phagwara clash, the CM said the situation was “completely under control”.
“There was no law and order problem,” said the chief minister.
DEPARTMENTS HAVE BEEN ASKED TO PREPARE A REPORT IN 15 DAYS; NEXT MEETING WILL BE HELD ON MAY 3