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Cracks appear between CM Channi and Sidhu over Cabinet expansion

Sep 25, 09:45 / Mənbə: Indianexpress.com

Cracks have already crept in between Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on the issue of induction of several ministers in the Cabinet. The party high command is now looking at revisiting the entire list finalised on Thursday in a late night exercise.

Channi was again called to Delhi by the Congress high command to discuss the new state Cabinet, just hours after he had returned from the national capital. Channi had already reached Punjab when he was summoned again. Curiously, the party high command has not called Sidhu for both the meetings in a row.

Sources told The Indian Express that Sidhu and Channi were not agreeing on several MLAs to be inducted in the Cabinet. Differences have appeared between the duo on induction of Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Pargat Singh and Kuljit Nagra.

While Sidhu is strongly supporting all three, Channi, it is learnt, is of the opinion that the organisation persons should concentrate on the party as the election is around the corner. Pargat Singh is PPCC general secretary incharge and Nagra is Working President.

Also, Sidhu is backing Raja Warring but former finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal is strongly opposing him. Badal and Channi are considered thick for last many years. Badal had played a role in Channi’s designation as CM as well.

As the consensus on these candidates could not be formed, the party called a meeting once again. The meeting between Channi and Rahul Gandhi was going on till the filing of this report.

Channi was called to Delhi on Thursday also by the high command. He had two rounds of meetings with senior leader KC Venugopal, general secretary incharge Harish Rawat, Harish Chaudhary and Ajay Maken and finally with Rahul Gandhi.

He was called again on Friday for the meeting after Rahul Gandhi met former PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar for about 45 minutes. It is learnt that Jakhar too had a view on a few MLAs being inducted as ministers.

The party has been trying to impress upon Jakhar to accept a role in the Cabinet but he had been declining. Sources privy to the meeting said that Jakhar told Rahul that he did not want any position in the government.

Before this development, the Congress in Punjab was waiting for the list of Cabinet ministers as the CM is learnt to have conveyed to his colleagues that the list was finalised and it would be run past AICC chief Sonia Gandhi for a final word.

While the party is retaining most of the ministers from Amarinder’s cabinet, it has to induct only a few new ones. But it is unable to make a final decision on those few only.

Appointment of AG, DGP also on hold

Due to a tug of war between the Punjab leaders, Rahul Gandhi is leant to have vetoed the move to appoint Deepinder Singh Patwalia as Advocate General. Sidhu was supporting Patwalia strongly. A few party leaders from Punjab complained to Gandhi that Patwalia’s family had BJP leanings. Gandhi then asked Channi to appoint someone else, sources privy to development said. The government is now planning to appoint Anmol Rattan Singh Sidhu as next AG. The formal order is however awaited. Sidhu and former DGP Mohd Mustafa were backing Patwalia but the appointment could not come through.

There is no consensus on the issue of next DGP also. While Siddharth Chattopadhyay was tipped to be the next DGP on Thursday, there are no formal orders yet as several party leaders opposed his appointment.

On Thursday, the secretariat was abuzz that Sidhu’s aide Smit Singh would be appointed as media advisor to Channi. But the move was stalled. Smit Singh on Friday tweeted that he was neither offered the job nor did he ask for it. Eom

Xəbərin mənbəsi: Indianexpress.com


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