Punjab's newly-appointed CM Bhagwant Mann took the oath recently from Khatkar Kalan, which was Bhagat Singh's native village. Mann's appointment as the Chief Minister comes after Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) thumping victory in the state in the Assembly Elections that concluded on March 10. The party's win in Punjab has set the ball rolling for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
Soon after, 10 ministers were sworn in as the Cabinet members at the Punjab Raj Bhavan. The New Indian Express reports that the ministers were decided after intense discussions between Mann and the AAP authorities. The oath was administered by the state governor, Banwarilal Purohit, who was present at the ceremony. With this, the party aims to form a cabinet with members from all around Punjab and from different walks of life.
Ministers From Different Walks Of Life
Bhagwant Mann's cabinet stands out for several reasons. One of them is the inclusion of eight first-time MLAs and only two second-time ministers. Also, many of them hail from small towns across Punjab, catering to people from different parts of the state. Around five ministers were from the Malwa region, four were from the Majha region, and only one was from the Doaba region.
Apart from that, the cabinet includes people who are doctors, lawyers, and engineers. The Print states that the cabinet consists of two doctors (eye-surgeon and dentist), two lawyers, a former civil servant, agriculturalists, and an industrialist.
A lawyer named Harjot Singh Bains became the youngest member of Mann's contingent. "It is a big responsibility, and Arvind Kejriwal has brought back the trust of the youth in politics. Now, we have to rebuild Punjab, adhering to the ideals of Maharaja Ranjit Singh," Bains told the news publication.
The second youngest member is a mechanical engineer named Gurmeet Singh Meet Myer, who was with Bains during the Anna Hazare movement in 2011. An ophthalmologist named Baljit Kaur is the only female member of Mann's cabinet.
Adding to this, the new Punjab cabinet has also tried to be inclusive. Four of its members come from the reserved category, whereas five, including CM Mann, are Jat Sikhs. Vijay Singla and Brahm Shankar Jimpa are the two Hindus in the cabinet.