Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Monday met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi and discussed different issues including the Assembly’s resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the row over power tariff in the state.
The CM met Gandhi in presence of AICC General secretary incharge Asha Kumari and PPCC president Sunil Jakhar. Later, he held a brief one-on-one with the Congress chief after Jakhar and Kumari left for the cremation of AICC leader Randeep Singh Surjewala’s father.
While power tariff and CAA issues were raised in the common meeting, the matter of Rajya Sabha MP Partap Bajwa’s tirade came up in Amarinder’s one-on-one with Sonia Gandhi. Bajwa had been challenging Amarinder for quite a few days and commenting on the working of the state government.
Bajwa has issued several statements against the CM, opposed the government for hiking power tariff, demanded a White paper on the issue and even sought sacking of Punjab’s Advocate General Atul Nanda. The Cabinet ministers had recently criticised Bajwa for opening a front against the chief minister. After the Cabinet meeting, the CMO had issued a statement that the ministers demanded from the high command disciplinary action against Bajwa.
While the chief minister brought the Congress chief up to speed with the Vidhan Sabha resolution opposing CAA and Punjab deciding to move SC against the law, the issue of power tariff hike in Punjab was raised by Sonia Gandhi. She asked the CM as to why power was so expensive in Punjab. Amarinder is learnt to have told her that Akalis were responsible for expensive power in Punjab, adding that he was preparing to do a course correction.
He is learnt to have told her that the Power Purchase Agreements, inked during SAD-BJP regime benefited private players and burdened the state exchequer.
Amarinder, sources said, told her that his government was committed to finding a solution. His disclosure about doing a course correction did not provide an opportunity to Jakhar, who has been opposing the hike, to raise the issue, added sources.
Sources close to the CM also said that he had a “positive” meeting with the party interim president. “The chief minister has told his aides that even Jakhar was very supportive of him in the meeting,” said a party leader.
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