Channi allocates portfolios to


DW BUREAU / chandigarh Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday allocated portfolios to the new ministers, keeping 14 departments with himself and giving home affairs to deputy chief minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and health to other deputy O P Soni. Channi, who along with his two deputies took oath as the chief minister on September 20, gave agriculture to first time minister Randeep Singh Nabha and transport to another new face -- Amarinder Singh Raja Warring. The announcement of allocation of portfolios came two days after 15 ministers were inducted into the Cabinet. The chief minister will hold key departments like vigilance, personnel, power, excise, mining and geology, environment and civil aviation. Besides, he will also hold investment promotion, hospitality, tourism and cultural affairs, general administration, justice, legal and legislative affairs, information and public relations. Randhawa was also allotted cooperation and jails departments, which he held in the previous Amarinder Singh-led government. In addition to health and family affairs, Soni has also been given defence services welfare and freedom fighters, according to the list of portfolios allotted. Some ministers, including Manpreet Singh Badal, have retained their portfolios in the Channi-led government. Brahm Mohindra, considered close to Amarinder Singh, retained the local government, parliamentary affairs, elections and removal of grievances departments. He held the same portfolios in the Amarinder Singh-led cabinet. Manpreet Singh Badal has retained the department of finance. He will also hold the governance reforms, planning and programme implementation departments. Badal has been given an additional portfolio of taxation. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa has retained his rural and panchayats, animal husbandry, fisheries and dairy development departments. Aruna Chaudhary got revenue, rehabilitation and disaster management departments earlier held by Gurpreet Kangar, who was dropped when the new cabinet under Channi took oath.Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria got water resources, housing and urban development, though mining will now be held by the chief minister. Razia Sultana will hold water supply and sanitation, social security, women and child development, printing and stationery departments.She used to hold the transport department earlier. Bharat Bhushan Ashu will retain food, civil supplies and consumer affairs departments. Vijay Inder Singla will hold the Public Works Department, but the school education, and higher education departments he held earlier have been allotted to new entrant Pargat Singh, who will also be the new sports minister. Pargat Singh will also hold the NRI affairs department. Among the other new entrants, Randeep Singh Nabha will hold the agriculture and farmers' welfare, and food processing departments.Rana Gurjit Singh got technical education and industrial training departments, which were held by Channi during Amarinder Singh's tenure. Gurjit Singh will also hold the horticulture, employment generation and training, and soil and water conservation departments. Another new face -- Raj Kumar Verka -- will hold the social justice, empowerment and minorities, medical education and research departments. Sangat Singh Gilzian will be the forests, wildlife, and labour minister while Gurkirat Singh Kotli will hold the industries and commerce, information technology, and science and technology departments. In the previous cabinet, departments like home, power and agriculture were held by Amarinder Singh. The Congress had recently picked Channi as the leader of the state's Congress Legislative Party. Amarinder Singh had resigned as the chief minister, after being locked in a bitter power tussle with Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. (


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