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AAP's giant killers fail to find place in Mann's cabinet

Last updated on: March 19, 2022 22:15 IST

Several Aam Aadmi Party MLAs who emerged as giant killers by defeating political stalwarts of rival parties in the Punjab assembly polls did not find a place in Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's cabinet.

IMAGE: In this combo photo, Dr. Baljit Kaur (MLA from Malout), Harpal Singh Cheema (MLA from Dirba), Harbhajan Singh ETO (MLA from Jandiala), Dr. Vijay Singla (MLA from Mansa), Lal Chand (MLA from Bhoa),Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer (MLA from Barnala), Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal (MLA from Ajnala), Laljit Singh Bhullar (MLA from Patti), Bram Shanker Jimpa (MLA from Hoshiarpur) and Harjot Singh Bains (MLA from Sri Anandpur Sahib) being administered oath during the oath-taking ceremony of Punjab cabinet ministers, in Chandigarh, Saturday, March 19, 2022. Photograph: PTI Photo

Newly-made MLAs Labh Singh Ugoke, Gurmeet Singh Khuddian, Jeevanjyot Kaur, Charanjit Singh, Ajit Pal Singh Kohli, and Jagdeep Kamboj -- all feted for their spectacular victories over veterans of Punjab politics, failed to make it to the cabinet.

Ugoke had defeated former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi in the Bhadaur assembly segment by a margin of 37,558 votes.


Gurmeet Singh Khuddian had beaten Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch Parkash Singh Badal in his traditional Lambi seat by 11,396 votes.

While Ugoke once ran a mobile repair shop, Khuddian had joined the AAP after quitting the Congress last year.

Jeevanjyot Kaur, 50, a social activist, had won from the Amritsar East seat, defeating former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia from the Amritsar East seat.

Charanjit Singh, an eye surgeon, had made Channi bite the dust in his home constituency Chamkaur Sahib.

AAP candidate Ajit Pal Singh Kohli had defeated two-time chief minister Amarinder Singh in Patiala Urban, while Jagdeep Kamboj had managed to trounce SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal in Jalalabad.

Besides these, many two-time MLAs, including Aman Arora, Baljinder Kaur, and Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, also could not get ministerial positions.

Sunam MLA Aman Arora said it was the CM's prerogative to induct anyone or not induct anyone in the cabinet.

"There could have been some shortcoming in my commitment, loyalty, and sincerity because of which my name was not there," he said.

"There is no issue. I believe in doing my work," he said.

Talwandi Sabo MLA Baljinder Kaur said she accepts the decision of the party and congratulated those who became ministers.

"It does not matter. I accept the decision of the high command," she said.

She said she has always stood by the party, even during its many ups and downs and when big leaders left it during difficult time.

Meanwhile, Punjab Congress MLA and former minister Amarinder Singh Raja Warring said that though the cabinet formation was the AAP's internal matter, it should have inducted Aman Arora, Baljinder Kaur, and Sarvjit Kaur Manuke as ministers.

In a tweet, Warring said these leaders stood by the party during its good and bad times.

Ten AAP MLAs, including a woman, were inducted in the Mann-led cabinet in Punjab here on Saturday.

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

There are 18 berths in the cabinet, including that of chief minister.

The AAP stormed to power after winning 92 seats in the 117-member Punjab Assembly.

Mann took oath as Punjab chief minister on Wednesday.

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