After former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Jalandhar Cant MLA Pargat Singh waged a war against CM Captain Amarinder Singh, the AICC was forced to constitute a committee to address the grievances of the Punjab leaders. The committee has proposed a compromise solution, but the dissident party leaders are in no mood to relent.
The panel comprising of senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress’ Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat and former MP JP Aggarwal had reportedly recommended that Sidhu could be suitably accommodated in the cabinet by making him the Deputy Chief Minister, saying that Capt Amarinder Singh should remain at the helm. The recommendation was made at a meeting held on Thursday, however, the dissident party leaders are not agreeing to this.
Justifying that it is not about the differences between Capt Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu, the dissidents said that they have raised genuine concerns like getting justice in the sacrilege case, making public a report on drugs submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2018 and renegotiating the power purchase agreements.
“The CM hasn’t fulfilled poll promises, so we are convincing more MLAs to come together to press for a change in leadership, and nothing less,” remarked a senior Congress leader.
The committee will be called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the coming days. The dissident are hopeful that their views will be considered before the party high command takes a decision.
Congress leader alleges that the CM has maintained a ‘dossier’
Widening the divide further, MLA Pargat Singh alleged that the Chief Minister in his meeting with the panel submitted ‘dossiers’ listing the wrongdoings of the MLAs and cabinet colleagues.
“The chief minister has been making dossiers of his senior party leaders. Instead of doubting his own leaders, he should concentrate on administration,’’ Singh told the media, adding that such dossiers should be made on the officers working in the CMO.
The opposition did not miss the chance to take a dig at CM Amarinder Singh. Senior Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal Tweeted, “Showing a sackful of dossiers on corruption of his colleagues has failed to save @capt_amarinder. The 3-men panel report confirms that Congress MLAs are in full agreement with public opinion in Punjab that Captain has proved an utter failure as CM — an inaccessible non-performer.”
Showing a sackful of dossiers on corruption of his colleagues has failed to save @capt_amarinder. The 3-mem panel report confirms that Congress MLAs are in full agreement with public opinion in Punjab that Captain has proved an utter failure as CM – an inaccessible non performer.
— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) June 10, 2021
While Amarinder Singh has rubbished all the allegations, MLA Pargat Singh has dared the Chief Minister to make public the dossiers hours after the panel submitted the report to Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi.
After poster wars, online campaigns begin
We reported how the Punjab Congress has unleashed a ‘poster war’ in the state in the run-up to the 2022 state assembly elections.
With this, the online war is also catching steam with the official page of “Punjab Da Captain” (dedicated campaign page for Captain Amarinder Singh) launching the campaign “Captain for 2022” and declaring Singh as the CM face.
On the other hand, a dissident and senior party leader Charanjit Singh Channi, who is among one CM’s “unfulfilled” poll promises camp, has come up with a campaign, “Ghar Ghar Vich Chali Gal, Channi Karda Masle Hal” (There is a discussion going on in every house that ‘Channi’ solves everyone’s problems).