CHANDIGARH: The Amarinder Singh-led Congress government has been ‘generous’ in doling out Cabinet berths to party colleagues and other stakeholders in Punjab.Besides the 18-member Cabinet ministers including the CM himself, the Congress government has handed out the rank of Cabinet minister to a dozen more people, besides the Minister of State (MoS) rank.
The CM has already six advisors, four political secretaries, nine OSDs and one Chief Principal Secretary. There were already seven dignitaries in the rank of Cabinet ministers, including Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Lal Singh, Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka, Rajinder Gupt and Amit Sagar Mittal. Advocate General of Punjab Atul Nanda and TS Shergill, senior advisor to CM, both also enjoy the rank of Cabinet minister.
Now with the latest addition of MLAs Kush Singh Dhillon (Faridkot), Amarinder Raja Warring (Gidderbaha), Sangat Singh Gilzian (Urmur) and Inderbir Singh Bolaria (Amritsar-South) as Political Advisors and Kuljeet Singh Nagra (Fatehgarh Sahib) as advisor (Planning) in the rank of Cabinet minister, there are a dozen people in the rank of Cabinet ministers.
Already, the CM’s media advisor Raveen Thukral, adviser Bharat Inder Singh Chahal and financial advisor VK Garg enjoy the MoS status. The latest addition to the list is legislator Tarsem Singh DC (Attari), who was appointed as planning advisor. These advisors are entitled to pay and allowances as given to the Cabinet minister.
In the process, the government seems to have circumvented the Constitutional cap on the number of ministers. As per rules, there can be 18 Cabinet ministers, including the CM, as the total strength of the Punjab Assembly is 117.