No unfairness in selecting ministers: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh
Chandigarh: With accusations being made by his own party legislators that he picked up only his loyalists as ministers in his government, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Saturday that the selections were made to give representation to all categories.
Denying any 'unfairness' in the selection of the new cabinet ministers, he claimed that adequate representation had been given to all sections and regions, with seniority being the key criteria.
"There were no swollen faces in the party, as the media chose to call them," a visibly agitated Amarinder Singh told media after the swearing in of nine new cabinet ministers and elevation of two sitting women ministers took place at the Raj Bhawan here on Saturday evening.
"The focus had been on striking a regional and caste balance, in order to ensure holistic development of the state," he said, replying to a question regarding dissatisfaction among some Congress MLAs.
To a question about certain MLAs having quit party posts after failing to find a berth in the cabinet, the Chief Minister said all issues would be 'amicably resolved'.
"With four Dalit ministers already in the cabinet, another member of the community could not have been accommodated. Nearly 25 percent of the state cabinet was currently being represented by Dalits," he pointed out.
The Chief Minister assured that all the Congress MLAs, who had not found place in the Council of Ministers, would be inducted into the various boards and corporations.
"The state has 7,000 jobs, ranging from the market committees to the planning boards, that can be given to party workers," he added.
Three Congress legislators had on Friday announced their resignation from party posts after their names did not figure in the list of new ministers.
At least 10 other legislators, six of them being senior and strong contenders for being ministers, were not considered.
At the same time, the list of new ministers was full of those seen as loyalists of the Chief Minister.