August 11, 2021 5:51:07 am
As Punjab inches closer to the next Assembly polls, a Cabinet reshuffle is likely in the state soon. AICC interim chief Sonia Gandhi is learnt to have given a go-ahead to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for a Cabinet rejig. The nod, according to sources, came during Amarinder’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Tuesday. General Secretary incharge Harish Rawat also participated in the meeting that went on for about an hour. This was the first time that Singh met the party president after the appointment of Navjot Singh Sidhu as Punjab Congress chief, despite his opposition.
Sources told The Indian Express that Sonia also told Amarinder that party and the government should work together.
Capt gets Sonia nod to rejig team, told to work together with Sidhu.
About the Cabinet reshuffle, sources added that new faces are likely to be inducted in the Cabinet soon.
After the meeting, CM’s media adviser tweeted: “Met @INCIndia president #SoniaGandhi ji in Delhi this evening to discuss various state related issues. Spent an extremely satisfying one hour with her: @capt_amarinder.”
Rawat told the media after the after the meeting that the CM had taken up the issue that there was no representation of Valmikis in the Cabinet. “Sonia ji will take a decision on this soon,” Rawat said.
Amarinder has been pitching for Dr Raj Kumar Verka, who is a Valmiki, to be inducted into the Cabinet.
The Cabinet has a vacancy ever since Navjot Singh Sidhu quit after he was divested of Local Bodies department.
The CM has also been wanting to drop a few ministers especially from the Majha brigade who raised a banner of revolt against Amarinder and siding with Sidhu.
Amarinder’s detractors have already started taking about an impending “witch-hunt”.
The name of Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana Kanwarpal Singh for Cabinet has also been making the rounds especially after he was called to Delhi by AICC leader Rahul Gandhi recently.
SONIA SATISFIED WITH 18-PT AGENDA PROGRESS
Amarinder had also taken a progress report on the 18-point agenda given by the high command to the CM. Rawat said, “Sonia ji is satisfied with the progress report.”
Sidhu has been pressing the government for fulfilling the 18-point agenda. On Monday, five ministers and a few MLAs had written to Sonia that the government was deliberately not delivering on the agenda points. The ministers and MLAs had also sought time from Sonia for a meeting.
The meeting took place when Sidhu too has been running a tirade against the government. On Monday, in a series of tweets, he had stated that if the government did not make public the STF report on drugs, he would bring a resolution in Vidhan Sabha demanding the same from the government. Sources had indicated that Amarinder was to discuss Sidhu with the AICC chief.
Rawat, however, told reporters that the CM has not said that he is upset with Sidhu, and that the issue was a media creation.
He also said, “I believe that Congress chief has advised that the state government and organisation have to walk together and both of them (Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu) have to work within their respective limits but by cooperating with each other”.
Kishor meets Amarinder
A few days after putting in his papers as Principal Advisor to CM, political strategist Prashant Kishor met Amarinder at his Kapurthala House residence on Tuesday. Sources said that Kishor was still in touch with the CM.
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