Punjab CM to expand cabinet; more young faces likely

Amarender Singh will visit Delhi on Thursday to meet Sonia

 Amarinder Singh Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarender Singh is slated to expand his cabinet on Apr 27, said informed sources. This will be the first expansion since he assumed office in Mar 2017.

The chief minister will visit Delhi on Thursday, and consult Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the names. He may add about ten members to his cabinet, which now has nine ministers including the chief minister.

While cabinet expansion has always been about balancing different communities and castes, talent and new comers, the trickiest thing for a Congress chief minister now is to balance between the young and the old.

Singh, during his campaign days, had ruled out future contests saying he would turn 85 by next elections, and would prefer to leave the field to younger people. But  senior MLAs have not exactly said that in the context of cabinet inclusion, at a time when the party does have many young legislators. The contenders include four to six time legislators. The chief minister however will push for new blood when he meets Gandhi.

Then comes the rank. The formula that has been worked out so far was to make MLAs who have served more than three or more terms a cabinet rank minister, and those with less legislative experience junior ministers.