Amid a brouhaha over Chief Minister Amarinder Singh trying to sign strategist Prashant Kishor, Congress General Secretary incharge Asha Kumari and PPCC president Sunil Kumar Jakhar met the CM over lunch on Thursday and are learnt to have expressed reservations over the CM’s decision.
Kumari had on Wednesday told The Indian Express that the Congress was not in favour of getting Kishor on board to design the party’s strategy for Punjab Assembly election in 2022. She rushed to Chandigarh on Wednesday itself to talk to the CM about the developments. It is learnt that Jakhar too came down from Delhi to Chandigarh and both had a meeting on Wednesday evening.
Finally, the duo met the CM on Thursday and are learnt to have discussed the issue at length. Most of the Congress leaders in Punjab, it is learnt, have expressed their reservations against signing Kishor for the next Assembly election on the plea that he got Amarinder make tall pre-poll promises in Punjab and it is becoming difficult for the cash-crunched state to fulfil all of them.
Kishor’s team has already said that he was “yet to make up his mind to take on Punjab Congress’s assignment”. It is learnt that he was scheduled to meet the CM at the latter’s Chandigarh residence but had cancelled the meeting. Sources close to him said he felt that he did not find it of any value to meet the CM at this juncture.
Sources said that Kumari expressed her reservations about Amarinder’s plan to get Kishor to design his strategy. She is learnt to have told him that while Amarinder had valued him as a strategist, Kishor was telling the media that he was not willing to take over the Congress campaign in bits and pieces.
On Wednesday, she had told The Indian Express that he is a mercenary and was working for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and there was no point in seeking him when he was working for other political party that was the main opposition in Punjab.
Both Jakhar and Kumari were not available for comment. Sources, however, said that both of them made it known to Amarinder that the entire Congress in the state was against Kishor and he could not be trusted at this juncture when he was in touch with another political party.
Kumari had come to Punjab after three months and the pressing reason was Amarinder trying to sign Kishor. A few days ago, Amarinder’s aide Capt Sandeep Sandhu had called up party MLAs to know their opinion about Kishor designing party strategy once again.
The leaders are learnt to have discussed former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and also strategised to take on the Centre post-lockdown.
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