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Punjab Assembly Election 2022: Congress tells ministers to get into poll mode, but defers rallies for now

With the farmers already setting the stage by way of their protest against Centre’s farm laws, CM Amarinder Singh Monday hosted all his Cabinet ministers and PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar over lunch at his farm house and discussed the party’s strategy for the coming days.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh | December 22, 2020 2:40:25 pm
Punjab Assembly Election 2022: Congress tells ministers to get into poll mode, but defers rallies for now(File photo)

The ruling Congress in Punjab is getting into election mode even though there is still a year to go before the state goes to polls in early 2022.

With the farmers already setting the stage by way of their protest against Centre’s farm laws, CM Amarinder Singh Monday hosted all his Cabinet ministers and PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar over lunch at his farm house and discussed the party’s strategy for the coming days.

The meeting discussed how the Congress was placed better than its political rivals in the state and the steps the party should take to reach out to the masses. The ministers were asked to get into election mode and not think that they had over a year to go.

“The ministers were told that they should not sit pretty thinking they had a year ahead of the Assembly elections but get in touch with the workers on the ground, get the feedback and act. They were also asked to start development in their respective areas,” a party leader told The Indian Express.

He added that it was discussed that the Congress never had better prospects of returning as it was having in this term.

“The BJP is on the backfoot due to farm laws. The SAD is only busy answering questions and justifying themselves about the farm laws. The AAP has not been able to gain any round. Also, the anti-incumbency of its 20 MLAs is going to add to their issues,” said the leader.

The meeting was also told to take MC elections as a precursor to the Assembly elections, prepare well and “look good” to the people.

MINISTERS ASKED TO FLOAT TENDERS

It is learnt that the ministers have been asked to float tenders in their respective areas of the development works in the next fortnight following which the government would be announcing the date of municipal elections in February. The party was considering postponing the elections but after taking legal advice it was discussed that the party could not delay the elections further. It was then decided that these would be held in February.

RALLIES DEFERRED

The party was preparing to hold rallies in Malwa, Doaba and Majha regions of the state against the farm laws. Sources said while the PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar was in favour of holding the rallies, as a mark of support to the farmers, a few ministers felt that the Congress mobilising lakhs to participate in these rallies would not go down well with the farmers, who were concentrating all their efforts to lay siege on Delhi. A few also said that the weather was not kind for them to hold rallies, as cold wave had swept the region, the days were short and mornings and evenings were experiencing fog. It was also suggested that the party should hold the rallies in the cities ahead of municipal elections, but this activity has been deferred.

FIRST MEETING AFTER COVID-19 OUTBREAK

The CM held a personal meeting – the first after the pandemic broke out in this part of the world. The CM had been holding meetings virtually. Even the Cabinet meetings have been held virtually in the past. The CM then called this meeting on Monday. The ministers, who were in their constituencies, were also asked to return to Chandigarh.

FARMERS PROTEST DISCUSSED AT LENGTH

The ongoing farmers’ agitation was also discussed by the meeting at length. The issue regarding the loss of farmers’ lives due to cold while sitting at Delhi borders, accidents were taken into account. The CM told the ministers that the state government was already helping the families of such farmers with monetary support. The issue of a threat to security due to leaving the farmers agitating for long was also discussed. The ministers hit out at centre for not getting GST compensation.

AMARINDER TO GET TESTED FOR COVID-19

Amarinder told the ministers that he would get tested for Covid-19 on Tuesday after he came in contact with Mohali Deputy Commissioner Girish Dylan while launching the Smart Connect Programme of the government under which smartphones were distributed to students. The DC was also present at the function on Saturday. He tested positive on Sunday.

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