July 28, 2021 12:42:03 am
Days after taking charge as Punjab Congress president, Navjot Singh Sidhu met Capt Amarinder Singh Tuesday seeking action on five issues, only to be informed by the Chief Minister that they are already in “final stages of resolution”.
Sidhu, accompanied by the four PPCC working presidents — Kuljit Nagra, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Pawan Goel, and Sukhwinder Singh Danny — Sidhu handed over a letter to the CM seeking “immediate action” on the 2015 desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and the police firing on protesters, arrest of the “big fish” in drug rackets, cancellation of the controversial power purchase agreements, rejection of Centre’s new farm laws; and demands by government employees.
“However, the CM told the newly constituted state Congress leadership that all the key issues of concern raised by them were already in advanced stages of resolution by his government, which had been working on them in close coordination with the party,” Amarinder Singh’s spokesperson said.
This was the first official meeting of the revamped PPCC team with the CM. The revamp was carried out following a long tussle between Amarinder and Sidhu. Following the meeting, the CM’s office released a picture of the two leaders shaking hands.
“Met CM Punjab to demand immediate action on longstanding issues concerning the People of Punjab … Echoing sentiment of lakhs of Congress Workers from across Punjab!!,” Sidhu later said in a tweet.
Earlier, in his letter to CM, Sidhu said, “Today, Punjab needs a stern, decisive, inclusive and compassionate leadership more than ever before to fulfil genuine demands of every Punjabi.”
Referring to the to-do list earlier dictated by the Congress high command to Amarinder, Sidhu, in the letter, said, “Punjab Congress workers stand firm in their resolve with our esteemed high command’s 18 point agenda — our guide book to deliver justice to every Punjabi”.
Listing the agendas, Sidhu said, “People demand justice for Punjab’s soul by punishing the main culprits behind sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and police firing incidents at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan.”
“The big fish behind drug trafficking in Punjab, as mentioned in the STF report, must be immediately arrested and given exemplary punishment,” it added.
On the Centre’s farm laws, the PPCC called for their complete rejection and not “merely” recommending amendments to a few clauses – a reference to bills passed earlier in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. “Agriculture is the backbone of Punjab, and as we all protest against Centre’s three black laws, the Government of Punjab must not merely recommend amendments to a few clauses in the legislations, but reject them completely, by announcing that they will not be implemented in Punjab at any cost. As we did in case of SYL, such stern resolve is needed from the Vidhan Sabha today and I must assure you that the MLAs are ready,” the letter read.
Taking up the issue of the PPAs, he said, “Our government must fulfil the 2017 election promise by cancelling the faulty agreements without any further loss to the state exchequer”.
They delegation also came out in support of protesting government teachers, doctors and nurses. “A compassionate leadership that is ready to listen and take steps for inclusive development of all is needed. Govt. must open doors for discussion, consultation and deliver what it can, considering its fiscal means immediately,” the letter said.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without an act of decision. We request you to act immediately,” he concluded the letter.
Amarinder, meanwhile, told the Congress office bearers that he had been working on these issues in close coordination with the party. He said that his government had already implemented “most” of the party’s poll promises and the other pending issues were also being resolved.
His government was committed to the implementation of all poll promises, Singh said, describing the meeting as cordial. The CM suggested that the party office bearers and the government should work together and offered to meet them regularly. He also urged them to make people aware of the government’s performance.
“Your win is my win and our win is the party’s win, and we need to work together in the interest of the state and its people,” the CM said.
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