Days after 16 ministers of Punjab Cabinet, led by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, unanimously announced a boycott of any meeting to be attended by Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, three out of them attended a Covid review meet chaired by the CM through a video link.
These Congress leaders head ministries directly concerned with the Covid fightback. All three ministers had received official letters calling them to the meeting followed by phone call from the CMO.
The rest of the 13 ministers did not comment on the matter on Monday.
While two ministers, including Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and Food Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, had made it clear on Sunday itself that they would be a part of the meeting, Medical Education and Research Minister O P Soni was also seen in the meeting. Karan Avtar Singh is learnt to have given a presentation to those present.
Fatehgarh Sahib MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra also joined the meeting. Presence of Nagra, who was also appointed Planning Advisor to the CM, took party MLAs by surprise.
With the presence of three ministers in the meeting, the campaign of Congress leaders against the CS seemed to have suffered a setback. Though a few ministers on anonymity said they would still boycott the CS, nobody was willing to say it on record.
While Soni was not available for comments, the rest of 13 ministers, who were also a part of the Cabinet where they had unanimously resolved to boycott the meeting with CS present, preferred to remain quiet on the issue. Manpreet Badal had recently lost his father and has been busy since then.
Channi, who had walked out of the meeting along with Manpreet Badal and protested against the alleged “impudence” of the Chief Secretary did not issue any statement on Monday.
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