Updated: August 27, 2021 7:30:24 am
After a banner of revolt was raised against him and rebel party leaders sought his ouster, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, in an apparent show of strength, on Thursday met many party MLAs and MPs at a dinner event, seen as a retort to the rebels’ meeting two days ago.
Amarinder’s camp claimed more than 60 MLAs and MPs joined the meeting, following an invite by his aide and state Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi at his official residence in Sector 2 here.
The CM’s camp released pictures and videos of the dinner meet but no list of names was provided.
Amarinder’s media adviser Raveen Thukral tweeted Rana Sodhi’s statement: “I’d invited like-minded @INCPunjab MPs & MLAs for dinner. 58 MLAs & 8 MPs graciously accepted my invitation & expressed the confidence that the party would win the 2022 polls under the leadership of @capt_amarinder. The journey has started today”.
Several MLAs seen in the videos released by the party at Sodhi’s residence were also seen at the rebel leaders’ meeting on Tuesday.
Besides Sodhi, eight ministers — Manpreet Badal, Vijay Inder Singla, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Balbir Sidhu, Sunder Sham Arora, Brahm Mohindra, Aruna Chaudhary and Gurpreet Singh Kangar — were seen in the videos among those present at the dinner meet. The event was seen as a celebratory dinner after rebel leaders returned without meeting the party high command.
Four MPs — Preneet Kaur, Chaudhary Santokh, Partap Bajwa and Mohd Sadiq — were among those present at the dinner meet.
Sodhi told The Indian Express, “I had invited like-minded MLAs. They have reaffirmed faith in Captain Amarinder Singh. This is the start of another of his innings, as we will win the 2022 election under his leadership. The Congress stands united.”
Besides Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana Kanwarpal, party MLAs whop joined the event included Rana Gurjit Singh, Laddi Sherowalia, Satkar Kaur, Pawan Adya, Raj Kumar Chabbewal, Sushil Rinku, Rajinder Beri, Amrik Singh Dhillon, Gurpreet Singh GP, Dharamveer Agnihotri, Gurpartap Ajnala, Raj Kumar Verka, Santokh Singh Bhalaipur, Navtej Cheema , Fateh Bajwa, Amit Vij, Arun Dogra, Kuldeep Vaid, Lakhvir Lakha, Surinder Dawar, Joginder Pal Bhoa, Nirmal Singh Shutrana, Ramanjit Sikki, Dalvir Singh Goldy, Raminder Awla, Harminder Gill and Surinder Chaudhary.
Suspended AAP MLAs who joined the Congress Sukhpal Khaira, Nirmal Singh Manshahia and Pirmal Singh Khalsa were among those present.
Those who attended meetings of meetings are Satkar Kaur, Amrik Singh Dhillon, Gurpreet Singh GP, Dalvir Goldy, Nirmal Singh Shutrana, Kuldeep Vaid and Santokh Singh Bhalaipur.
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