Five BJP ministers inducted in Punjab cabinet
Chandigarh: Five Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including three new faces, were on Sunday sworn-in as ministers in the Punjab cabinet after seven of its leaders, including five ministers, resigned in the wake of corruption charges.
Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil administered the oath of office and secrecy to the five new ministers -- Tishan Sud, Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Satpal Gosain, Arunesh Shakir and Surjit Jiyani -- at a ceremony at the Punjab Raj Bhawan here.
While all ministers took the oath of office and secrecy in Punjabi, the official language in Punjab, Chawla took the oath in Sanskrit.
There was a faux pas during the swearing-in of Gosain, who was Punjab assembly deputy speaker till now, as he took the oath of secrecy first and followed it by oath of office. The oath has to be taken first for office and then for secrecy. To add to that, he took half the oath in Punjabi and half in English, fumbling in both.
Out of the ministers, Tishan Sud and Chawla were among the five BJP ministers who resigned Thursday evening following the corruption taint in the Rs.1.5 crore land deal bribery case.
Three BJP ministers -- Manoranjan Kalia (industries and local government), Mohan Lal (transport) and Swarna Ram (social welfare), who had resigned Thursday, were left out in the reshuffle.
Kalia and Swarna Ram, whose names had figured in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the bribery case, were questioned by the agency here last week.
Following this, the BJP had secured the resignations of all five BJP ministers in the Badal government.
Both ministers later said they had nothing to do with the bribery scam.
Kalia was the seniormost minister in the Badal government after Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The Akali Dal-BJP alliance government, which has been in power since March 2007, will face assembly elections February-March next year.
Before the swearing-in of the ministers, the chief minister inducted five new chief parliamentary secretaries from the BJP in his government.
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