In a bid to end the ongoing crisis in the Punjab Congress, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi met former state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday to iron out their differences. Sidhu has decided to stay with the Congress, sources said.
The meeting came a day after Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as the Punjab Congress chief, citing differences over the selection of a few people in the state cabinet and key posts.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh cleared the air over his near political future, saying while he won’t be joining the BJP, he won’t remain in the Congress either.
Top developments in Punjab | 10 points
1. Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi met Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday in the presence of party observer Harish Chaudhary and resolved some of their differences.
Navjot Singh Sidhu was reportedly miffed over the appointment of IPS officer Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota as the new Director General of Police (DGP) and the inclusion of Rana Gurjit Singh in the new state cabinet. He had also objected to APS Deol being made the advocate general, who had appeared as the counsel for the accused in the Behbal Kalan case.
According to sources, CM Charanjit Singh Channi conveyed to Sidhu that IPS officer Sahota is just officiating as a DGP and has been given an additional charge. Sidhu was also conveyed that Punjab government may appoint a parallel authority to the advocate general.
2. CM Charanjit Singh Channi and Navjot Singh Sidhu also agreed to form a committee that to resolve the issues raised by Sidhu. Besides CM Channi and Sidhu, a general secretary of the Congress would be a part of the committee, sources said.
In the committee, both Sidhu and CM Channi will present a performance report on the officers who have been opposed by Sidhu. The issue is likely to be resolved after a state cabinet meeting on October 4, sources said.
3. Following the meeting with CM Charanjit Singh Channi, Navjot Singh Sidhu decided to stay with the Congress, sources said. The issues that remain unresolved between Sidhu and CM Channi will be resolved by the Congress high command, sources said.
4. Amid the ongoing crisis, Congress in-charge of Punjab Harish Rawat is expected to go to Punjab on Friday. In the morning, he will do a press conference in Dehradun on the Punjab crisis and then he may go to Chandigarh, sources said.
5. A day after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in New Delhi. Amarinder Singh said he discussed the security situation in Punjab with NSA Doval.
“I will resign and will not stay in the party,” Amarinder Singh said, adding that he was still thinking through his options in the interest of Punjab and was worried about the state’s security.
“I will not be treated in this humiliating manner. I will not take such insults,” he said.
7. Captain Amarinder Singh reiterated his stand that Navjot Singh Sidhu is not the right man for Punjab and if he contests the election, he won’t let him win. He also said that the right to take decisions for the government lies with Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Navjot Singh Sidhu cannot dictate the terms.
On floor testing, Amarinder Singh said the decision lies with the assembly speaker.
8. Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar asked Navjot Singh Sidhu to put an end to “attempts to undermine the authority of CM time and again”.
“Enough is enough. Put an end to attempts to undermine the authority of CM time and again. Aspersions being cast on the selection of AG & DGP is actually questioning the integrity/competence of CM and Home Minister to deliver results. It’s time to put the foot down and clear the air,” Sunil Jakhar tweeted.
9. Aam Aadmi Party’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited Punjab on Thursday and made six promises which he described as a health guarantee for the people if his party is elected to power in next year’s state assembly election.
Arvind Kejriwal said the people of Punjab had brought the Congress government with high hopes but they are only getting ‘tamasha’ now. “Today, we don’t see anything worth calling a government here,” he said.
10. BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh slammed the Congress for allegedly creating disorder and instability in Punjab close to the assembly elections. He said the ugly infighting in the Punjab Congress has not only paralysed governance in the state but also exposed it to national security risks.
“The ISI gameplans are so obvious on the Punjab border and the irresponsible Congress government has compounded it,” PTI quoted Chugh as saying.
(With inputs from PTI)