On Friday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) finalized the names of ten ministers for Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s cabinet, ignoring all giant killers and most of the second-timers except two. Eight out of the nine ministers will be taking oaths on Sunday in Chandigarh. Leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema is a second-time MLA from Dirba, while Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer is a first-time MLA from Barnala.
They include Dr Baljit Kaur from Malout, Harbhajan Singh ETO from Jandiala, Dr Vijay Singla from Mansa, Dr Lal Chand Kataru Chak from Bhoa, Kuldip Singh Dhaliwal from Ajnala, Laljit Singh Bhullar from Patti, Bram Shankar (Jimpa) from Hoshiarpur and Harjot Singh Bains from Anandpur Sahib. Sidhu Moosewala, a popular Punjabi singer and Congress candidate, was defeated by Dr. Vijay Singla. Mann’s cabinet does not include other giant killers who defeated big guns of other political parties.
Gurmeet Singh Khuddian, who defeated former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Jagdeep Singh Kamboj Goldy, who defeated former Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, Dr. Charanjit Singh and Labh Singh Ughoke, who defeated former CM Charanjit Singh Channi in two constituencies, and Dr Balbir Singh, who defeated former CM Amarinder Singh, were all surprisingly ignored in the first list. Additionally, the party has ignored most second-timers. Mani Arora, the MLA from Sunam who won with the biggest margin in the state with over 70,000 votes, has also gone unnoticed.
The party has included four people from the Scheduled Castes (SC) in the first list. Five leaders from Malwa region, four from Majha region, and one from Doaba region have been included in the delegation. There is only one woman in the cabinet. The list includes four Jats, four SCs, and two Hindus. Mann is allowed to have 17 ministers in his Cabinet according to the rules. Mann tweeted to congratulate the 117 members of the Punjab Assembly.