Today, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, his two deputy chairman ministers, and state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu boarded a chartered jet for Delhi where they will have talks with party leaders on enlarging the new Cabinet, sources said.
The team will meet with Congress general secretary Harish Rawat, who is in charge of Punjab affairs, in Delhi, according to a report by the Press Trust of India news agency.
Navjot Sidhu posted a photo on Twitter showing him with Mr Channi and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, one of the two Deputy Chief Ministers, in front of a rented plane, which was later removed. “In the line of duty!!” he wrote on Twitter.
Amarinder Singh resigned as Chief Minister of the poll-bound state on Friday; Mr Channi, Mr Randhawa, and the other Deputy Chief Minister, OP Soni, were sworn in on Monday, two days after Amarinder Singh resigned as Chief Minister.
M. Channi was appointed as Congress Legislature Party head after a series of tense meetings with the party’s members.
Mr Randhawa, a Jat Sikh, and Mr Soni, a Hindu, were reportedly picked in order to maintain a sense of balance in the caste system.
According to sources who spoke to the Press Trust of India, the cabinet is likely to see the induction of new members following the Delhi meeting, during which the potential candidates would be discussed.
According to early indications, individuals who rallied around Navjot Sidhu during the power struggle with Amarinder Singh will have an opportunity to hold a position in the next cabinet.
According to the Pakistani news agency PTI, the names Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Madan Lal Jalalpur, Inderbir Singh Bolaria, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Pargat Singh, and Sangat Singh Gilzian are being bandied about as possible candidates.
Pargat Singh, who is considered to be close to Navjot Sidhu, is currently the Punjab Congress general secretary, and Mr Gilzian serves as a working president of the party’s state unit in the state of Punjab.
There has been conjecture about whether Amarinder Singh loyalists — such as Gurmit Singh Sodhi, who served as sports minister, and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, who served as minister of social justice — would keep their roles after the election.
Mr Channi himself was a member of the group of ministers who relentlessly attacked Amarinder Singh, making it clear that they were allies of Navjot Sidhu’s.
Harish Rawat sparked a controversy on Monday by implying that the upcoming assembly elections will be fought under Mr Sidhu’s leadership. This came just hours before the three ministers were sworn in at the same ceremony.
Sunil Jakhar, a former state Congress chairman who was considered for the position of chief minister at one point, said the “baffling” remark would damage the authority of the next chief minister.
In an attempt to contain the damage, the Congress announced that both Mr Channi and Mr Sidhu would be in charge of the campaign in the next election.