Chandigarh: After Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi and party's state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and other leaders held deliberations over days with the party's senior leadership to finalise the names for the first cabinet expansion, it appears to have hit another hurdle with a section of Congress leaders including a former PPCC chief writing to Sidhu demanding Rana Gurjit not be included.
The group of Congress leaders including MLAs on Sunday wrote to the party's state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu demanding that tainted former minister Rana Gurjit Singh should not be included in the Cabinet of Charanjit Singh Channi-led Punjab government.
In the letter to Sidhu, these leaders demanded to drop Rana Gurjit Singh from the proposed cabinet berth, alleging that he is a known corrupt and tainted politician of Doaba.
The letter was written by Mohinder Singh Kaypee, former PPCC president, MLA Sultanpur Navtej Singh Cheema, MLA Phagwara Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, Jalandhar North legislator Bawa Henry, Chabbewal legislator Raj Kumar, MLA Sham Churasi, Pawan Adiya and Bholath legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
The leaders also demanded that the cabinet berth may instead be filled up by giving representation to a clean Dalit leader. A copy of the letter was also sent to Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
Amusing over the list of ministers proposed to be included in the cabinet from Doaba region, the leaders also pointed out that while one Jat Sikhs and one OBC is in the list, there is no representation to a leader from the Dalit community, despite the Doaba region having approximately 38 percent Dalit population
Among MLAs from the Doaba region proposed to be inducted in the cabinet include Pargat Singh and Rana Gurjit Singh.
Quoting sources, PTI reports that five ministers, who were part of the Amarinder Singh-led government, are expected to be dropped while seven new faces are likely to be inducted into the Punjab cabinet
Pargat Singh, Raj Kumar Verka, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Kuljit Nagra and Rana Gurjit Singh are likely to be included in the cabinet, according to the sources.
However, the list of names is yet to be officially declared.
In another development, Amloh legislator Randeep Singh Nabha is also learnt to be upset over being ignored for the ministerial post in the new cabinet.
Six-time MLA Rakesh Pandey too expressed unhappiness over the proposed names in the expansion alleging seniors were ignored.