August 13, 2021 8:00:30 am
A day after former DGP Mohammad Mustafa turned down the post of adviser offered by Navjot Singh Sindhu, another one of the Punjab Congress president’s chosen four waded into controversy on Thursday for his social media posts.
A few hours before being named by Sidhu as one of his four advisers, Malwinder Singh Mali, a former teacher with the Punjab education department, had taken to Facebook to write that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were trying to create communal tension in Punjab. Mali, in his post, asked Punjabis to be cautious of the trio’s handiwork of creating an atmosphere of mistrust.
Further, he wrote that All India Congress Committee chief Sonia Gandhi had asked the CM to work together with Sidhu and asked Amarinder to present a proposal for a rejig in the Cabinet.
The Punjab Cabinet has one vacant seat. It fell vacant after Sidhu resigned as minister in 2019.
Amarinder on Tuesday had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and informed her about the progress made on the 18-point agenda of the party high command. He is also learnt to have told Gandhi about the continuous targeting of the state government by Sidhu. Sonia, sources said, had advised that the Punjab government and the state unit of the party must work together. She had also asked AICC in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat to ensure that Amarinder and Sidhu work within their respective limits but cooperate with each other.
Sidhu, who elevated as the new president of the party’s Punjab unit last month, had on Wednesday appointed four advisers – Fatehgarh Sahib MP Dr Amar Singh, Mustafa, Former Registrar of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences Dr Payare Lal Garg and Mali.
While no party leader has come out openly against the choice of advisers by Sidhu, some of those supporting him have expressed their dismay in private.
“Mali is known for his abusive language. He uses derogatory words on social media for his opponents. Why would Sidhu appoint such a person as his adviser,” asked a party leader, adding that he wanted to raise the issue with Sidhu, but was content at keeping quiet at the moment.
Another leader said that it was very strange that Mustafa was made an adviser. “Knowing Mustafa, he would not take it kindly. I have not been able to speak to him but I am sure his reason for declining the offer is the same,” the party leader said.
Mustafa is the husband of Punjab cabinet minister Razia Sultana.
Will never leave Amritsar: Sidhu
After having shifted the center of his political activities to Patiala, Sidhu Thursday said he will never leave Amritsar as it was his ‘Karambhumi’.
“I will never leave the holy city, which has made my family win six elections. I had come to Amritsar with two shirts. I was confused when I was called to the border area. I was thinking about what would happen to me. However, the people here embraced me from the very first day,” Sidhu said during a public meeting at his constituency, Amritsar East, on his first visit after being appointed as the Punjab Congress chief.
“Patiala was my birthplace. But till the time blood flows in my veins, till the time of my last breath, Guru Ki Nagri Amritsar Sahib will remain my Karmabhumi. I can die, but will never betray the trust of this holy city,” he said.
Sidhu during the event also inaugurated projects for various development works, worth Rs 42 crore.
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