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Gilzian resigns over not getting Punjab cabinet berth: ‘Backward classes have been ignored’

Gilzian, who was earlier considered a frontrunner for a ministerial berth, claimed that his name was “dropped” at the last moment.

punjab Updated: Apr 21, 2018 09:12 IST
HT Correspondent and PTI
HT Correspondent and PTI
Hindustan Times, Hoshiarpur
Gilzian,Sangat Singh Gilzian,Backward classes
Congress MLA Sangat Singh Gilzian

Congress MLA Sangat Singh Gilzian on Friday resigned from party posts after learning that he had not been included in the expanded state cabinet. Gilzian, who represents Urmur seat in Hoshiarpur district, accused the party of “ignoring” the backward classes in the cabinet expansion and underlined that he is a senior legislator from the Doaba region. “I have been representing my constituency for a long time. I fought elections four times and won three times — in 2007, 2012 and 2017.”

“I have resigned from the membership of All India Congress Committee (AICC) and as vice president of the state unit,” Gilzian said, hours after chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh announced the induction of nine new ministers. He said he would not raise the matter with the Chief Minister.

The other new ministers are Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Sunder Sham Arora, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi and Gurpreet Singh Kangar.

“What to talk of inducting me in the cabinet, even my junior was not inducted. Backward classes have 27% of the votes in Punjab and not even a single MLA representing them was made a minister,” he said. “Now I do not have any right to hold positions in the party. I will continue to serve my people as MLA.”

Gilzian, who was earlier considered a frontrunner for a ministerial berth, claimed that his name was “dropped” at the last moment. The names of ministers to be inducted in the first expansion of the state’s Congress government were finalised at a meeting between Amarinder and Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi.

Youth leader and former Sangrur MP Vijay Inder Singla, Mohali’s three-time MLA Balbir Sidhu and former Amritsar mayor and five-time MLA OP Soni are among the legislators who will get ministerial berths. The other new ministers are Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Sunder Sham Arora, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi and Gurpreet Singh Kangar.

First Published: Apr 21, 2018 09:08 IST