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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday indicated that his first Cabinet expansion would be before the Budget Session in June.

Amarinder said in a statement that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had given him the freedom to choose his council of ministers and he saw seniority, experience and regional parity as key parameters for selection. Professionalism and experience would be given high priority for appointments to other government positions such as bureaucrats. He said that his Cabinet would ensure all regions of the state were represented.

The chief minister also justified his decision to continue with DGP Suresh Arora because he was a “professional man” while the chief secretary was changed because of his proximity to the previous regime.

The chief minister has called a Cabinet meeting on March 27 to approve a vote-on-account that it will table in the first session of the new assembly that begins on Friday.

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