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10 AAP MLAs inducted into Punjab cabinet

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: March 19, 2022 22:13 IST
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Ten Aam Aadmi Party MLAs, including a woman, were inducted in the Bhagwant Mann-led Cabinet in Punjab in Chandigarh on Saturday.

IMAGE: Governor of Punjab Banwarilal Purohit with Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann and the newly sworn-in state cabinet ministers, pose for photographs at Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh, on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Photograph: PTI Photo

Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 10 ministers at a ceremony at the Guru Nanak Dev auditorium in Punjab Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh.

All of them took the oath in Punjabi.

Barring Harpal Singh Cheema and Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, eight others are first-time MLAs.

Cheema, a legislator from Dirba, was the first to take oath followed by Dr Baljit Kaur, the lone woman in the cabinet and MLA from Malout.


Next to take the oath was Harbhajan Singh from Jandiala, followed by Dr Vijay Singla from Mansa, Lal Chand from Bhoa, Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer from Barnala, Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal from Ajnala, Laljit Singh Bhullar from Patti, Bram Shanker Jimpa from Hoshiarpur and Harjot Singh Bains from Anandpur Sahib.

There are 18 berths in the cabinet, including the chief minister, but Bhagwant Mann has gone for a lean cabinet.

Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Protem Speaker Dr Inderbir Singh Nijjar, AAP MLAs and family members of those who were inducted as ministers were among those present at the event.

Punjab Governor Purohit had on Wednesday administered the oath of office and secrecy to Bhagwant Mann in a swearing-in ceremony at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

The Aam Aadmi Party bagged 92 seats in the 117-member Punjab Assembly, decimating the Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bahujan Samaj Party combine, and the Bharatiya Janata Party-Punjab Lok Congress-SAD (Sanyukt) alliance.

In the cabinet, the party gave representation to five MLAs from Malwa, four from Majha and one from the Doaba region.

It has accommodated four MLAs who represent reserve constituencies -- Dirba, Jandiala, Malout and Bhoa. Besides, four are Jat Sikhs and two are Hindus.

However, the AAP MLAs who defeated stalwarts, including Congress' Charanjit Singh Channi, Navjot Singh Sidhu, SAD's Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal and Punjab Lok Congress chief Amarinder Singh did not find a place in the cabinet.

Congratulating all the newly inducted ministers, Mann tweeted, 'Today the new cabinet of Punjab took the oath and at the same time pledged to fulfil the expectations of the people. Congratulations to all the new ministers. We have to work together with full sincerity for the three crore people of Punjab.'

Mann had announced the names of MLAs who will be inducted into the cabinet on Friday.

Of the cabinet members, Harpal Singh Cheema is a two-time legislator from Dirba and the party's Dalit face.

Cheema, 47, had been the Leader of the Opposition in the previous assembly.

An advocate by profession, he defeated Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Gulzar Singh Moonak from the Dirba assembly seat.

Two-time Barnala MLA Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer is the president of the AAP's youth wing. Hayer, 32, defeated SAD nominee Kulwant Singh Keetu.

He has done B.Tech from Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology in 2012.

Dr Baljit Kaur, 46, who won from Malout seat, is an eye surgeon.

The daughter of former AAP MP Sadhu Singh had joined the party after resigning from her job at Muktsar civil hospital.

During poll meetings, she had even examined eye patients.

She has done MS in ophthalmology from Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in 2010.

Dr Vijay Singla, 52, won from Mansa seat after defeating popular Punjabi singer and Congress candidate from Mansa Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu Moosewala. Singla is a dental surgeon.

Lal Chand Kataruchakk, 51, got elected from the Bhoa seat in Pathankot defeating Congress' Joginder Pal.

Kataruchakk, a matriculate, and who calls himself a social worker, was also president of the AAP's SC wing.

Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, 60, was elected from the Ajnala assembly seat. A matriculate, Dhaliwal defeated SAD candidate Amarpal Singh.

According to his poll affidavit, Dhaliwal was booked in 2019 at Rajasansi police station in Amritsar under various sections including 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code but his arrest was stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Thirty-one-year-old Harjot Bains who was elected from Anandpur Sahib was the youngest among 10 ministers.

An advocate by profession, he had unsuccessfully contested from the Sahnewal assembly seat in 2017.

He has a certificate in international human rights law from the London School of Economics.

Laljit Singh Bhullar, 40, was elected from the Patti seat. He defeated political stalwart Adesh Partap Singh Kairon who is the son-in-law of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

An agriculturist, Bhullar had done senior secondary in 1999.

Harbhajan Singh, 53, won from Jandiala seat against Punjab Congress working president Sukhwinder Singh Danny. He has been an excise and taxation officer.

He had unsuccessfully contested from Jandiala seat in 2017.

Another cabinet member Bram Shanker Jimpa, 56, was elected from the Hoshiarpur seat after he defeated former minister and Congress nominee Sunder Sham Arora.

Jimpa, a class 12 pass, has been a councillor.

Bhagwant Mann's daughter Seerat Mann, 21, and son Dilshan Mann, 17, who arrived from the USA recently, attended the oath-taking ceremony.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.