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Congress MLAs Brahm Mohindra and Manpreet Singh Badal were among the first to take oath as ministers on Sunday in the new Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.

The MLAs were administered the oath of office by Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit at a swearing-in ceremony held at Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh today.

Congress leader Brahm Mohindra is an MLA from the rural Patiala constituency while Manpreet Singh Badal is an MLA from Bathinda Urban constituency.

Apart from Mohindra and Badal, the list of MLAs who took the oath of office as Punjab Cabinet ministers today includes Tript S Bajwa, Sukhbinder Sarkaria, Rana Gurjeet Singh, Aruna Chaudhary, Razia Sultana, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Vijay Inder Singla, Randeep S Nabha, Raj Kumar Verka, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Pargat Singh, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and Gurkirat Singh Kotli.

Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat said that those who could not be made ministers today will be accommodated in the government setup and the organization. 

“This exercise has been done to bring in young faces and strike a social and regional balance," he said  after the expansion of Punjab Cabinet.

Channi took oath earlier this month as the 16th Chief Minister of Punjab and succeeds Captain Amarinder Singh, who resigned from the top-most position in the state following months of infighting between him and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Just ahead of Cabinet expansion, six MLAs and former Punjab Pradesh Congress president Mohinder Singh Kaypee on Sunday have written to state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, demanding that Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh not be sworn in as the minister for his alleged involvement in corruption.

The MLAs have requested that Gurjit's proposed cabinet slot should go to a Dalit leader from Doaba region.

In a letter to Sidhu and Channi the MLAs wrote: "We the undersigned MLA and leaders of Doaba wish to convey huge resentment amongst the public and the Congress cadre on the proposed inclusion of tainted Rana Gurjeet Singh. Needless to mention, he was dropped from the cabinet in January 2018 due to the infamous mining scandal involving him, his family and his companies directly in the said scandal."

They further added, "The Punjab government had forfeited approximately 25 crore deposited by a company, M/s Rajbir Enterprises, for the mining auction of 3 sites in Punjab. Justice Narang commission brought out a startling fact about that company of Rana Gurjeet Singh. M/s Rajbir Enterprises had received 5 crore gratifications for the said mining auction from Gurinder Singh, who was charged by vigilance bureau, and is now in custody."

The MLAs asked why Rana's name was included despite no clean chit from the court or government to him.

The six MLAs who wrote the letter included-Navtej Singh Cheema, Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, Bawa Henry, Dr. Raj Kumar, Pawan Adiya and Sukhpal Singh Khaira.

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