Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s scheduled meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi for Tuesday to discuss Cabinet expansion has been deferred with the CM being indisposed and returning to Chandigarh Monday evening. Amarinder was on a holiday in Agra for the last few days. He was to meet Rahul in Delhi on Tuesday, on his way back to Chandigarh.
Sources, however, said that the CM had developed fever and had to be flown back to Chandigarh. The discussion on Cabinet expansion would now be taken up some other time.
An aide of Rahul, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Indian Express, “Rahul ji had taken feedback on (Irrigation and Power Minister) Rana Gurjit Singh’s issue and the matter could have been discussed with the CM. But the meeting has been cancelled now.” Punjab Minister Rana Gurjit’s role has been under the scanner over alleged irregularities in the state’s sand mine auctions.
Meanwhile, several MLAs have been lobbying to secure a berth in the Cabinet. In March, nine ministers were sworn in apart from the CM – seven in Cabinet and two as ministers of state. Punjab can have only 18 ministers, including the Chief Minister, as per the rules.
Sources said Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa is also an aspirant. Other names doing the rounds, according to sources, are Indian Youth Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Sangrur MLA Vijay Inder Singla and Fatehgarh Sahib MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra.