Punjab government led by Captain Amarinder Singh has appointed six minister-rank advisors to the Chief Minister. It has been dubbed as a move to please those candidates in state who failed to secure cabinet rank in the recent cabinet reshuffle.
Five MLAs from Congress party will now get the status of Cabinet ministers, while the sixth leader will be positioned equivalent to that of a minister of state. The list of members getting the responsibility of the Cabinet rank includes:-
- MLAs Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon of Faridkot
- Singh Raja Warring of Gidderbaha
- Sangat Singh Gilzian of Urmur, and
- Inderbir Singh Bolaria of Amritsar South
- Kuljeet Singh Nagra of Fatehgarh Sahib
- Tarsem Singh DC of Attari
While the first four leaders have been designated as advisors (political), the fifth one, Kuljeet Singh Nagra has been designated as an advisor (planning). Tarsem Singh DC of Attari has been also designated as Advisor (planning), but he is decorated with the rank of a minister of state.
Bhartiya Janta party members have alleged a foul play and said that this move by Punjab government is against the spirit of the constitution. The saffron party said that the move is aimed to bypass the provisions laid by the Constitution (91st Amendment) Act, 2003.
BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh, while speaking to the media, said that the strength of ministers cannot exceed 15 percent of the total members of the House and this is a violation of that rule. Punjab Assembly has a total of 117 seats, therefore, its maximum number of ministers can be 18 in number. This tally has already been achieved under the present structure. Tarun Chugh also slashed the Punjab government for creating unnecessary posts that will increase the pressure on state exchequers’s purse.