The portfolios of the cabinet ministers of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will be reshuf fled on Wednesday in what is set to be the first “major rejig” of the council of ministers of Parkash Singh Badal’s SAD-BJP coalition government after it came back to power in March 2012 for the second consecutive term.
The move to reshuf fle the portfolios of the SAD ministers comes following the induction of three SAD legislators on Tuesday in Badal’s council of ministers.
Gover nor Shivraj Patil on Tuesday administered the oath of office and secrecy to SAD legislators Sohan Singh Thandal, Tota Singh and Dr Daljit Singh Cheema as cabinet ministers in a ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan.
With their induction, the SAD-BJP coalition government has now 18 ministers — 14 of SAD and four of BJP — including the chief minister.
“Yes, a major reshuf fle in the portfolios of the SAD cabinet ministers is on the cards. We will take the final decision on Wednesday. But there will be changes in the portfolios,” deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal told Hindustan Times, when contacted.
On Wednesday, after the scheduled meeting of the cabinet, chief minister Badal has called a meeting to take a final decision on reshuf fling the portfolios of SAD ministers, top SAD sources said. It is because of this impending reshuffle in portfolios that the government did not announce the portfolios of the three cabinet ministers inducted on Tuesday.
It is learnt that the S AD leadership is contemplating to change the portfolios of education minister Sikander Singh Maluka, transport minister Ajit Singh Kohar, and PWD minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, while the high-profile minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon – son-in-law of CM Badal -- may be divested of his food and civil supplies portfolio. Kairon is likely to be given another equally significant department.
Another powerful minister, Bikram Singh Majithia, who is brother in-law of the deputy CM, is likely to retain the revenue and rehabilitation portfolio, while his another portfolio of infor mation and public relations could be given to one of the newly inducted ministers.
Sources say rural development and panchayat minister Surjit Singh Rakhra may have to do with an insignificant department.SAD sources say that the cabinet rejig is aimed at injecting a new energy and giving a fresh push to implement the policies and prog rammes of the government and to refurbish the image of the SAD-BJP coalition government in wake of the major drubbing in the recently held Lok Sabha polls.