Party sources said on Sunday that Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann will expand his cabinet on July 4 as five MLAs are expected to become ministers. The swearing-in ceremony will be held at Punjab Raj Bhavan at 5 pm on Monday, an official said here.
This will be the first cabinet expansion of the Bhagwant Mann-led government in more than three months after the Aam Aadmi Party came to power in Punjab. With the addition of five more ministers, the number of Mann-led cabinet will increase to 15 including the chief minister.
Names of many MLAs including Aman Arora – two-time MLA from Sunam, Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, two-time MLA from Jagraon, Baljinder Kaur, two-time MLA from Talwandi, two-time MLA from Sabo, Buddha Ram – two-time MLA from Budhlada, Inderbir Singh Nijjar who is an MLA from Amritsar South and Anmol Gagan Mann, MLA from Kharar is vying for the ministerial post. However, there is no word from the party on the name of the MLAs to be included as ministers in the cabinet expansion.
After AAP formed the government after a landslide victory in the 2022 assembly elections, Mann-led cabinet inducted 10 MLAs as ministers. There are 18 berths in the cabinet including that of the Chief Minister.
At present, there are nine ministers in the cabinet led by Mann. In May, Health Minister Vijay Singla was sacked from the state cabinet on corruption charges.
The Aam Aadmi Party returned to power during the state assembly elections, winning 92 seats in the 117-member Punjab Assembly.