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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Priyanka dials Capt Amarinder Singh, Rawat cancels virtual meetings with MLAs

Priyanka Gandhi is said to have broached the reported vigilance probe against former minister Navjot Sidhu, the alleged threatening call to MLA Pargat Singh and reopening of alleged sexual harassment case against Cabinet minister Charanjeet Singh Channi.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
May 20, 2021 1:49:39 am
Is UP govt preparing to make way for third COVID wave and then fight it, asks Priyanka GandhiCongress leader Priyanka Gandhi (File photo)

After several days of fireworks in Punjab Congress, it was a relatively a quiet day in the party after AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi reportedly dialled Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday. She is said to have broached the reported vigilance probe against former minister Navjot Sidhu, the alleged threatening call to MLA Pargat Singh and reopening of alleged sexual harassment case against Cabinet minister Charanjeet Singh Channi.

Party general secretary incharge Harish Rawat, meanwhile, cancelled his virtual meetings with MLAs after several expressed fears over confidentiality. The meetings were scheduled to begin from Wednesday.

On Monday, Rawat had called up several Congress leaders not to go public against the Chief Minister and the government. He had called up Channi, who had called a press conference against Punjab Woman Commission issuing notice to the government in a case dating back to October 2018.

A woman IAS officer had earlier accused Channi of sending an inappropriate text to her. Rawat had also called Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Jalandhar MLA Pargat Singh and Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa to impress upon Channi not to go against party’s government.

Rawat’s virtual meetings with different groups of MLAs on Wednesday were postponed after a few of them raised the issue of confidentiality being compromised in the online meetings, adding that they would not be able to convey public sentiments to the high command through virtual meetings as the feedback could be recorded and later used to target them.

The general secretary incharge would now hold physical meetings with the legislators in Delhi this month-end or early-June, a source said.

“We have cancelled the virtual meetings. Several legislators had expressed their reservations against these meetings. They cited a case of information leakage in 2016. Nobody wants to be targeted for giving feedback. In any case, legislators in Punjab often cite phone-tapping. Now, we have decided to hold physical meetings in Delhi. We are considering Covid curbs in Punjab and Delhi. Let us see when Delhi lifts lockdown. In Punjab, the curbs are till May 31. If Delhi also extends its lockdown, then the meetings will take place in early-June. In any case, Rawat has also recovered from severe Covid,” said the source.

Sources indicated that the party wanted a feedback from MLAs as to who could be the PPCC chief with acceptability across board.

“There have been several names, but it is yet to be seen. The party plans to have a Dalit leader also in the PPCC team now. So acting presidents cannot be ruled out,” the source revealed.

He added that Rahul Gandhi had also recovered from Covid, but was not meeting anyone yet. “People are unable to work because there is no organisation. A list was prepared earlier for PPCC reorganisation but now certain changes have to be made. For instance, with Malerkotla being announced as the 23rd district, we will require a DCC president for Malerkotla,” the source added.

Sidhu tweets yet again

While the party was able to convince all miffed Congress leaders to stay silent for a few days before they are heard, Navjot Sidhu continued with his Twitter war against the Chief Minister. He tweeted on Wednesday: “No Action on Drugs, No Action on Sacrilege, No White Paper on Power Purchase Agreements, No Action on Mafia Raj, Only Action against your Party Colleagues to protect Badals and Majithia…”

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