New Delhi: The Punjab Vidhan Sabha will have its first session since last week’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) victory in the assembly elections a day after CM-designate Bhagwant Mann takes oath, ThePrint has learnt. AAP won 92 out of 117 assembly seats in the election results announced last week and Mann is scheduled to take oath as the state’s new CM Wednesday, 16 March.
Now a government document seen by ThePrint has announced 17 March as the date for the first assembly session since the AAP victory in the state elections. According to the document, Punjab Chief Secretary Anirudh Tewari chaired a meeting of officers heading various government departments on 11 March to review arrangements for Mann’s swearing-in ceremony. In the same meeting, 17 March was decided as the date for the convening of the first Vidhan Sabha session in the state after the AAP’s election victory.
Senior AAP leaders have also confirmed 17 March as the date for the Vidhan Sabha session. According to these leaders, a pro tem speaker for the assembly will be announced on that day and the new legislators will take oath. The election of the speaker will be held on the same day. This will be a special one-day session of the assembly and will be followed by the first budget session under the AAP government, the date for which is yet to be decided.
Meanwhile, Mann is yet to announce the names of his cabinet ministers. While one group of AAP leaders claimed on Sunday that Mann will be taking oath alone on 16 March and the other ministers on a later date, another group of senior AAP functionaries claimed that at least six ministers will be inducted by 16 March.
The Punjab cabinet may have a maximum of 18 members, including the chief minister.
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Speculations on Mann’s cabinet
While several AAP Punjab leaders told ThePrint that the party’s senior leaders in Delhi will decide the names of the cabinet ministers, the party’s Punjab co-in-charge Raghav Chadha told the press Friday that Mann will be selecting the members for his cabinet.
A senior party leader in Punjab also told ThePrint that Mann and Kejriwal had deliberated on the cabinet profiles after the party’s Amritsar roadshow Sunday. The leader added that Mann is expected to hold a meeting with MLAs too Monday, after rendering his official resignation from the post of Lok Sabha MP for Sangrur.
Earlier, while addressing the newly-elected party MLAs last week, Mann had said, “Arvind Kejriwal has one message for us — we should not engage in any sort of discrimination. There are 17 cabinet ministries in the state government covering schools, hospitals, power, industry, etc. And then there is the CM’s post. The MLAs who do not get cabinets should not be disappointed. In our governance model, all MLAs will be given responsibilities like ministers.”
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)
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