Congress Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa’s revolt against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh seemed to have bridged the gulf between Amarinder and PPCC president Sunil Jakhar.
Jakhar was the first leader from Congress in Punjab who came out in support of Amarinder soon after Bajwa met Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore to submit a memorandum seeking a CBI probe against the government in hooch tragedy. The PPCC president attacked Bajwa by alleging that the Rajya Sabha MP was complicit with the BJP. Hitting back, Bajwa called Jakhar a spineless man for siding with CM.
Earlier, differences between CM and PPCC chief had appeared amid complaints by political leadership of the party that the bureaucrats were ruling the roost and the leaders were not being given their due.
Jakhar had, a few weeks ago, openly demanded the sacking of former Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh for allegedly misbehaving with the Cabinet Ministers. Amarinder, however, had looked the other way and ignored Jakhar’s demand. The then CS was not only allowed to continue but appointed to the plum post of chairman of Punjab State Water Regulatory Authority. Amarinder had even called Jakhar over for a lunch meeting to sort the issue.
Before this, Jakhar had taken on Amarinder’s aide and AG Atul Nanda and accused him of losing cases and causing embarrassment to the state government.
There were reports in the past that Amarinder had not given an appointment to Jakhar for a meeting, who had to wait for sometime before meeting him. Party sources had also been indicating Amarinder was in favour of getting him replaced with Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari as PPCC president. The reports had prompted a Cabinet minister to run to the senior leaders of the party to say that Tewari did not belong to Punjab and this could cause problems for the party.
But with Bajwa going all out against Amarinder, the CM and PPCC president have closed ranks. Jakhar has shot off a letter to the party high command seeking action against Bajwa. Jakhar is learnt to have prevailed over Amarinder on Thursday to visit families of hooch tragedy victims in Tarn Taran. Amarinder and Jakhar were seen in a huddle at former’s farm house along with party general secretary incharge Asha Kumari on Thursday.
Kumari said, “There were no differences between the duo. In fact both have a very good equation. I have been meeting them twice every month since April. There was nothing wrong between them.”
About the Thursday meeting, she said, it was a routine meeting.
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