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Punjab cabinet expansion tomorrow, says CM Channi

GHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister, Charanjit Singh Channi is likely to induct half a dozen new faces while five ministers who were a part of the Amarinder Singh-led- government are expected to be dropped from the cabinet. With the list of ministers for the new cabinet finalised, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi Saturday met Governor Banwarilal Purohit at Raj Bhavan around 12:30 pm, and after the meeting announced that Punjab cabinet expansion will be held tomorrow at Raj Bhawan, at 4:30 pm.

His meeting with the governor came just hours after he returned from Delhi, where he had a final round of cabinet formation talks with the party’s top command.

The party is also learnt to have decided to retain Vijay Inder Singla, Manpreet Singh Badal, Brahm Mohindra, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Arunu Chaudhary, Razia Sultana and Bharat Bhushan Ashu from the Amarinder Singh government.

However, five legislators — Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Sunder Sham Arora — who were ministers in the Amarinder Singh-led cabinet are likely to be dropped, the sources said.

Channi was summoned to Delhi by the Congress high command on Friday to discuss the cabinet formation. The visit came within hours of him returning from the national capital.

“If few ministers are being dropped and new faces are being introduced, it is on the basis of their performance and for the effective functioning of the state government,” sources said.

A total of 18 MLAs can be included in the cabinet, including Chief Minister Channi and two his deputies Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and OP Soni.

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