Newsmaker | V-C row: Health Minister Jouramajra, first-time MLA, picked from 10 doctor MLAs by AAP

First-time MLA from Samana constituency of Patiala, 55-year-old Chetan Singh Jouramajra was inducted into the Punjab Cabinet on July 4. He was given portfolio of health and family welfare, medical education and research and elections after he took oath. It needs to be mentioned that in the current AAP government, a total of 10 doctors had won elections but despite that, Jouramajra was given this portfolio who is class 12 pass. Two doctors are already in the cabinet – Dr Baljeet Kaur, an opthalmologist who is a social security minister . She became minister in March itself when Dr Vijay Singla- a dentist was made health minister. However, Singla was sacked in May this year on charges of corruption.

Along with Jouramajra, Dr Inderbir Singh Nijjer — an Amritsar based radiologist was also inducted in the Bhagwant Mann cabinet on July 4, but he was given portfolio of local bodies minister. This had surprised his supporters as they were expecting a doctor to be the health minister of Punjab , given the fact that AAP has many dictor MLAs. This controversy has once again started taking rounds as why a class 12 pass was preferred to be a health minister.

Meanwhile, Jouramajra is the founder member of AAP in Punjab. He had earlier been part of Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption and that’s how, party sources say, he came in contact with AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal.

In March 2019, Jouramajra grabbed headlines when he was shot at by some unidentified persons who were trying to kidnap a girl in Tarn Taran. Jouramajra had foiled that kidnapping attempt but his inspiring act came at a price. He got shot in the neck by the ‘kidnappers’ and it took him about eight months to recover. AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal had highlighted this matter a lot abd and even had come to Punjab to ask about health of Jouramajra. He was even asked to contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls by AAP, sources revealed but Jouramajra had denied due to his poor health.

He had however sought an AAP ticket from Samana in 2017 Punjab Vidhan Sabha polls, but was denied.

While Jouramajra was made president of AAP ‘s rural wing of Patiala in 2020, in his electoral debut early this year, he defeated SAD heavyweight candidate Surjit Singh Rakhra by a massive margin of 39,713 votes in the state assembly polls. Sitting Congress MLA Rajinder Singh was pushed to third spot in the polls.

A Class XII pass-out and a farmer by profession, Jouramajra had declared assets and liabilities worth Rs 1.22 crore and Rs 6 lakh, respectively, in the election affidavit.

Although when he became cabinet minister, it was a big day for Jouramajra, some of the local residents in his constituency were surprised at his Cabinet berth. They say the MLA has not been accessible either in person or over phone to them after his election victory.

“We were shocked at his induction into the Punjab Cabinet. What skills does he have to enjoy this privilege? He has changed a lot after his election victory. We hope he becomes an ‘Aam Aadmi’ again,” said a voter in his constituency.

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