Punjab cabinet expansion: Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab expanded its cabinet on Wednesday by inducting two party legislators as ministers. This comes after local bodies minister Dr Inderbir Singh Nijjar submitted his resignation from the Council of Ministers, citing personal reasons. He was an MLA from the Amritsar South Assembly constituency of Punjab.
MLAs Balkar Singh and Gurmeet Singh Khudian were administered the oath at the Raj Bhavan at around 11:15 am in Chandigarh. Singh is a legislator from Kartarpur, in Jalandhar, while Khudian is an MLA from the Lambi seat. The Bhagwant Mann-led dispensation has sought time from the Punjab governor for the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday.
WATCH THE OATH CEREMONY HERE:
MLAs Balkar Singh and Gurmeet Singh Khudian to take oath
"The Chief Minister had proposed the names of Balkar Singh, MLA from Kartarpur, and Gurmeet Singh Khudian, MLA from Lambi, for being inducted as cabinet ministers," said an official. He further said CM Mann had requested the Governor to accord kind approval to administer the Oath of Office and Secrecy to the new Ministers at the Raj Bhawan.
At present, the strength of the Mann-led cabinet is 15, including the chief minister. There are a total of 18 berths in the cabinet.
Punjab govt's anti-corruption helpline receives around 8,000 complaints
Meanwhile, the Punjab government's 'anti-corruption action line' has received close to 8,000 complaints since March 2022. Chief Minister Mann launched the helpline number in March 2022 that allows people to upload video/audio proof of officials asking for bribes or indulging in malpractices.
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB), in its relentless pursuit of eradicating corruption, has made remarkable progress in its recent anti-corruption campaign, said an official statement.
"From March 23, 2022, to the present date, the chief minister's anti-corruption action line (ACAL) has received a staggering 7,939 complaints accompanied by necessary evidence, signifying the unwavering commitment of the Punjab government to promote transparency and accountability in public administration," said the statement.
(With inputs from agencies)