A number of big faces of Shiromani Akali Dal who held the rank of cabinet ministers, in the previous coalition government of SAD-BJP, may have lost recently held assembly elections in Punjab, but the party has no dearth of experienced hands who would take oath as cabinet ministers at Banda Bahadur memorial in Chappar Chirri on Wednesday.
Out of 12 ministers from SAD, only two are the first timers, who include Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon and Surjeet Singh Rakhra. Again Dhillon and Rakhra have experience in the party, respectively as MP and MLA. SAD-BJP coalition government which has fixed cabinet meeting on Wednesday evening immediately after the swearing in ceremony, would, decide portfolios before the meeting. Interestingly there is only one woman in the newly announced cabinet, former SGPC president and minister, Bibi Jagir Kaur.
The coalition partner BJP has been given four cabinet berths, out of which, two are becoming ministers, while same number in the cabinet are old timers including Madan Mohan Mittal and SK Jyani. The first timers from BJP include, Bhagat Chunni Lal and Anil Joshi. While Jyani was minister in previous coalition government and Mittal was minister in 1997-2002 government.
For the post of chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal would take oath for the fifth time, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal has already announced this, while Sukhbir himself would take oath as Deputy CM. Punjab governor Shiv Raj Patil would administer the oath of office to all the cabinet members.
As announced by SAD president Sarwan Singh Phillaur who remained minister in 1997-2002 government and chief parliamentary secretary in previous coalition government. Tota Singh who remained education minister in coalition government from 1997-2002 would also take oath. Sikandar Singh Maluka who was irrigation and power minister in 1997-2002 again figures in the list of ministers who would take oath on Wednesday.
Five minister of the outgoing government are again selected for the cabinet berths. They include Adesh Partap Singh Kairon who held portfolio of food and civil supplies, former irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, former minister for animal husbandry and social welfare Gulzar Singh Ranike, former revenue minister Ajit Singh Kohar and Parminder Singh Dhindsa who held the charge as PWD minister in the outgoing government.
Bikram Singh Majithia who remained Public relations minister for a year after SAD-BJP government took over in 2007 but resigned in 2009 to give way to Sukhbir Badal as deputy CM, so as to fulfill the norms of number of minister in the cabinet.
Four from Badal family this time
The number of members in the cabinet from Badal family who would take oath on Wednesday is four. They include Badal himself as CM, his son Sukhbir Singh Badal, his son-in-law, Adesh Partap Singh Kairon and Sukhbir’s brother-in-law Bikram Singh Majithia. In previous government 2007-12 there were five from Badal family including Badal’s nephew Manpreet Singh Badal who was made finance minister but he resigned in October 2010 to form People’s party of Punjab.