Sidhu divested of his portfolio; most Punjab ministers get new one

| | Chandigarh
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Sidhu divested of his portfolio; most Punjab ministers get new one

Thursday, 06 June 2019 | IANS | Chandigarh

Sidhu divested of his portfolio; most Punjab ministers get new one

Hours after the first state Cabinet meeting post Lok Sabha elections, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday evening rejigged the portfolios of most of the ministers, including Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Barring four ministers, there are some changes in the portfolios of all the ministers as a result of the reallocation, which the Chief Minister said would help further streamline the government system and processes and bring more transparency and efficacy to the various departments.

With the Congress government in the state nearing its mid-term mark, Amarinder Singh hoped the exercise would also reenergise his team.

The Chief Minister, who had hinted at changes in the portfolios of his Council of Ministers after the completion of the poll process, has allocated the crucial Local Government to his senior-most colleague, Brahm Mohindra, who was earlier handling Health and Family Welfare, which has now been entrusted to Balbir Sidhu.

Local Government was earlier with Navjot Singh Sidhu, who now gets Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources.

His other previous portfolios of Tourism and Cultural Affairs goes to Charanjit Singh Channi, who retains Technical Education, Industrial Training and Employment General, with his Science and Technology portfolio taken over by the Chief Minister.

Balbir Sidhu's portfolio of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy has been entrusted, under the new scheme of things, to Tript Bajwa, along with Higher Education.

Bajwa also retains Rural Development and Panchayats.

However, Bajwa has been divested of Housing and Urban Development, which the Chief Minister has handed over to Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, in place of Revenue, which goes to Gurpreet Singh Kangar, who is also handling Rehabilitation and Disaster Management.

Manpreet Singh Badal continues to take care of Finance, Planning and Programme Implementation, but the Chief Minister has decided to take Governance Reforms into his own fold. School Education has been shifted from Om Prakash Soni to Vijay Inder Singla, who retains Public Works but hands over Information Technology to Captain Amarinder.

Soni will now take care of Medical Education & Research, Freedom Fighters and Food Processing departments.

In addition to Sports & Youth Affairs, Rana Gurmeet Sodhi will now also be in charge of NRI Affairs, which was under the Chief Minister's purview earlier. 

Transport has been moved from Aruna Chowdhary's basket and handed over to Razia Sultan, who retains Water Supply but has been divested of Higher Education. 

Aruna Chowdhary takes over the Social Security, Women & Child Development departments.

The four ministers in whose portfolios no changes have been made are Sadhu Singh Dharamsot (Forests, Printing & Stationery, SC/BC Welfare), Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa (Cooperation, Jails), Sunder Sham Arora (Industries & Commerce), and Bharat Bhushan Ashu (Food & Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs).

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