Badal inducts five BJP ministers, allocates portfolios (Lead)May 15th, 2011 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, May 15 (IANS) Five Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators, including three new faces, were Sunday sworn-in as ministers in the Punjab cabinet of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal after seven of its leaders, including five ministers, resigned in the wake of corruption charges.
Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil administered the oath of office and secrecy to the five new ministers - Tikshan Sud, Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Satpal Gosain, Arunesh Shakir and Surjit Kumar Jiyani - at a ceremony at the Punjab Raj Bhawan here.
Badal later allocated the portfolios to the new ministers.
A spokesperson of the chief minister’s office said that Sud, who was Saturday elected as the new leader of the BJP group in the assembly, would now look after the portfolio of local government, industries and commerce and parliamentary affairs. He was earlier the minister for forests and medical education.
Chawla would now be the social security and women and child development minister. She was earlier the health and family welfare minister.
Gosain will be the new health and family welfare minister. Jiyani will be the transport, technical education and industrial training minister while Shakir would look after forests and wild life preservation, labour and medical education and research departments.
While all ministers took the oath of office and secrecy in Punjabi, the official language in Punjab, Chawla took the oath in Sanskrit.
There was a faux pas during the swearing-in of Gosain, who was Punjab assembly deputy speaker till now, as he took the oath of secrecy first and followed it by oath of office. The oath has to be taken first for office and then for secrecy. To add to that, he took half the oath in Punjabi and half in English, fumbling in both.
Out of the ministers, Sud and Chawla were among the five BJP ministers who resigned Thursday evening following the corruption taint in the Rs.1.5 crore land deal bribery case.
Three other BJP ministers - Manoranjan Kalia (industries and local government), Mohan Lal (transport) and Swarna Ram (social welfare), who had resigned Thursday, were left out in the reshuffle.
Kalia and Swarna Ram, whose names had figured in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the bribery case, were questioned by the agency here last week.
Following this, the BJP had secured the resignations of all five BJP ministers in the Badal government.
Both ministers later said they had nothing to do with the bribery scam.
Kalia was the seniormost minister in the Badal government after Chief Minister Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The Akali Dal-BJP alliance government, which has been in power since March 2007, will face assembly elections February-March next year.
Before the swearing-in of the ministers, the chief minister inducted five new chief parliamentary secretaries from the BJP in his government.
They are K.D. Bhandari, Amarjit Singh Sahi, Dinesh Singh, Sukhpal Singh Nannu and Bishambar Dass.
Out of these, Nannu was CPS earlier also and had submitted his resignation last week.
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Tags: bribery case, chief minister, corruption charges, deputy speaker, development minister, family welfare, government industries, laxmi, life preservation, medical education, new faces, new health, new ministers, oath of office, parliamentary affairs, research departments, satpal, shakir, technical education, wild life