Chandigarh: The decks have been cleared by the Congress high command for the induction of nine new cabinet ministers in the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab.
The new ministers will be sworn in at the Raj Bhawan by Governor V.P. Singh Badnore on Saturday evening.
The ministers are Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Vijay Inder Singla, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Sunder Sham Arora, O.P. Soni, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Gurpreet Kangar and Balbir Singh Sidhu.
Most of them are staunch loyalists of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Their names were approved in New Delhi on Friday following two days of meetings between Amarinder Singh and Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders.
“Happy to announce the names of the new Cabinet Ministers… Congratulation to all,” the Chief Minister tweeted.
The Congress, which has 77 legislators in the 117-member Punjab Assembly, won the Assembly elections by a thumping majority in March last year.
The state cabinet can have a maximum strength of 18 ministers, including the Chief Minister, under the law.
There was a lot of speculation over the names of probable ministers for the past one year. Some of the other strong contenders who did not make it to the list included former Indian hockey team captain Pargat Singh and Dalit leader Raj Kumar Verka.