New Delhi, Apr 20: Nine new cabinet ministers are set to take oath tomorrow in Punjab, after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi approved their names in a meeting with state chief minister Amarinder Singh.
The new ministers are Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Vijay Inder Singla, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Shyam Sunder Arora, O P Soni, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Balbir Sidhu. Amarinder Singh congratulated them and announced that swearing-in ceremony will take place tomorrow at 6 pm at Punjab Raj Bhawan.
"Happy to announce the names of the new Cabinet Ministers ... Congratulation to all!," he said. The state chief minister held a second round of discussion with Rahul Gandhi today before announcing the names. According to sources, their meeting today lasted around an hour. They held a similar meeting yesterday and Amarinder was asked by Rahul Gandhi to provide the seniority list of the MLAs.
The expansion has been pending for a long time and many senior MLAs were eyeing a ministerial berth. At present there are nine ministers, including Amarinder Singh, and with nine new ministers, the Punjab government will touch the maximum strength of 15 per cent of the state assembly.