Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi met Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Friday night and is learnt to have discussed the new Cabinet formation in the state, sources said. Channi was summoned to Delhi by the Congress high command to discuss the expansion of the Cabinet, just hours after he had returned from the national capital.
Hectic deliberations are on between Channi and top party leaders to decide the names of ministers in the Punjab’s Cabinet, the sources said. Some of the ministers in the previous Amarinder Singh government are like to be dropped, they said.
It is the CM’s third visit to Delhi in the past a few days. Channi had gone to Delhi on Thursday evening where he discussed the formation of his cabinet with Rahul Gandhi.
He had also held discussions with All-India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Harish Rawat. After the meeting, Channi returned early Friday morning.
Meanwhile, former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar is learnt to have met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. There is now speculation that Jakhar, who narrowly missed out on succeeding Amarinder Singh as CM, may be rehabilitated with some post. Jakhar was the frontrunner for the post of the Congress Legislature Party leader. However, party leaders, including Ambika Soni, suggested that a Sikh should occupy the top post in the state. The Congress picked Channi, who belongs to the Scheduled Castes community. The state Cabinet is likely to see some fresh 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 are doing the rounds. Pargat Singh, considered close to Sidhu, is at present the Punjab Congress general secretary and Gilzian is a working president of the party’s state unit.
There is a speculation that Amarinder Singh’s staunch loyalists-Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, who is the sports minister, and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, who is the social justice empowerment minister-may be dropped from the cabinet.
With inputs from News18