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Friday, April 03, 2020

Amid Bajwa’s tirade against him, Amarinder to meet Sonia in Delhi today

Amarinder flew to Delhi in his chopper on Sunday morning itself. PPCC president Sunil Kumar Jakhar and AICC general secretary in-charge Asha Kumari is also likely to accompany him for the meeting.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Published: January 20, 2020 12:17:38 pm
amarinder singh bajwa rift, amarinder singh sonia gandhi meeting, punjab deputy cm, indian express, punjab news Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh (Retd.) (Left) and Partap Singh Bajwa (Right).

Amid Congress Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa’s tirade against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the latter is set to meet AICC chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Monday.

Amarinder flew to Delhi in his chopper on Sunday morning itself. PPCC president Sunil Kumar Jakhar and AICC general secretary in-charge Asha Kumari is also likely to accompany him for the meeting.

The meeting was on hold ever since Amarinder had got his cataract removal procedure done in December. Sources said the issue of a Cabinet rejig may also come up for discussion in the meeting as Punjab Cabinet has a vacancy after former minister Navjot Sidhu resigned in July last year. Amarinder had not inducted anyone since. Sidhu may also come up for discussion in the meeting as the party high command, it is learned, is still in favor of getting Sidhu on board. They feel that leaving him sulking for a long time may force him to look towards other parties. This may create problems for the Congress that is hoping to retain power in 2022 in Punjab.

“The urgency of the meeting is in the backdrop of the fact that Bajwa has opened a front against Amarinder and his government in Punjab. Since Bajwa is a Rajya Sabha member, the state unit of Congress cannot take disciplinary action against him. It is for the high command to act against him,” a party leader said, adding that the issue is most likely to be taken up in the meeting.

Sources said it was being felt that Bajwa’s consistent outburst against the state government was creating an environment that it was a free-for-all in Congress. Anyone could say anything and get away with it. “After Bajwa’s open letter against Advocate General Atul Nanda seeking his sacking prompted a party MLA Surjit Singh Dhiman also to demand his ouster. Strong action would be required to be taken to stop this,” said the sources.

Interestingly, even as Bajwa spoke against the AG, no Cabinet minister came out in Nanda’s support. The CM backed himself in a statement. None of the ministers even bashed Bajwa except in a statement that was released by CMO after a Cabinet meeting last week. In that statement, ministers demanded action against Bajwa.

“Also, Amarinder has taken a strong stand against CAA in Vidhan Sabha on the lines of the party’s stand across the nation. His likening of the current regime in the Centre with Hitler is a strong stand not taken by anyone. The leaders will make the high command abreast of all this also,” said a leader.

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