File image of Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi
The new Cabinet of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi took oath on September 26, months ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in the state.
The 15-member Cabinet includes six new MLAs, apart from eight current ministers and one former minister who was dropped in 2018.
Members of the new expanded Cabinet are as follows: Brahm Mohindra, Manpreet Singh Badal, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbindr Singh Sarkaria, Rana Gurjeet Singh, Aruna Chaudary, Razia Sultana, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Vijay Inder Singla, Randeep Singh Nabha, Raj Kumar Verka, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Pargat Singh, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring and Gukrirat Singh Kotli.
Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath to office to the new ministers at the Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh.
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The inclusion of a former minister, Rana Gurjit Singh, has sparked a row as he was excluded from the Cabinet three years ago amid allegations of links with the sand mining mafia against him.
The seniormost minister in the Channi-led government is Brahm Mohindra, a prominent Hindu face of the Congress in Punjab. He was the Local Bodies Minister in the Amarinder Singh-led government.
Legislators who have been inducted as first-time ministers are - Nabha, Verka, Gilzian, Pargat Singh, Warring and Kotli.
The rejig in the state Cabinet comes days after Congress veteran and incumbent Punjab CM Amarinder Singh resigned, claiming that he has been "humiliated" by the party.
Singh was replaced by Channi, a Dalit face of the party in the state. The latter is considered close to Singh's rival and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.