File photo to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi | Twitter: @capt_amarinder/@INCIndia
File photo to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi | Twitter: @capt_amarinder/@INCIndia
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New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met Congress president Sonia Gandhi Tuesday evening in Delhi to discuss the state of affairs in the party’s Punjab unit after Navjot Singh Sidhu’s elevation to the post of state Congress chief.

At the meeting, party sources said, Amarinder brought up the recent tweets by Sidhu, where he has accused the Congress of “inaction” over a drug trafficking case dating back to 2018.

“CM Singh told Mrs Gandhi that this reflects poorly on the Congress party… that even after being given an important post of PCC chief, Sidhu is attacking the Congress government so openly,” said a leader who was privy to the meeting.

In a thread of tweets Monday, Sidhu had questioned the government over what action they have taken in the case where Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia and others have been named.

“What investigation had Punjab Police done ? What action had Punjab Govt taken ? Must be brought into public domain. Since submission of reports, what further action did the state take in 2.5 years ? Govt must make itself accountable to the Public with complete transparency !!,” He had written in one of the tweets.

Congress’ Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat told the media after Tuesday’s meeting that Gandhi had advised both Sidhu and Amarinder that they have to cooperate with each other and work together.

“I believe that Congress chief has advised that the state govt & organisation have to work together and both of them (Captain Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu) have to work within their respective limits but by cooperating with each other,” Rawat said.

However, Rawat denied that Amarinder is still upset with Sidhu.

The Punjab chief minister’s meeting with Gandhi comes days ahead of the speculated cabinet reshuffle where more Dalits are expected to get representation, keeping the 2022 state polls in mind.

This is the first time since Sidhu’s elevation as PCC chief that Amarinder met with Gandhi.

Singh and Sidhu have been at loggerheads with each other for a while now, and the latter’s public statements criticising the CM’s work have only aggravated the crisis. Last month, the Congress leadership decided to make Sidhu the PCC chief, thus seemingly putting an end to the crisis.


Also read: Punjab Congress battle isn’t about Navjot Sidhu or Amarinder Singh. It’s about Gandhis


Amarinder meets Amit Shah

The Punjab chief minister also met Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday, where he demanded a repeal of the farm laws.

“Punjab CM @capt_amarinder urges @AmitShah to intervene to resolve #FarmerProtest & repeal #FarmLaws to prevent inimical forces from exploiting their anger. Cites social, economic & security implications of prolonged farmers’ agitation,” Singh’s media advisor Raveen Thukral tweeted.

He also requested the home minister to “seek 25 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and anti-drone gadgets for BSF for protection from Pak-backed terror forces. Warns of drone/terror activity escalation”, Thukral wrote.

Amarinder also spoke of how although the farmers’ protests have been peaceful so far, the “rising tempers, especially as Punjab moves towards elections” may be cause of worry and so the laws must be repealed soon.

(Edited by Priyanjali Mitra)


Also read: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh is ready for truce with Navjot Sidhu if he apologises for his attack on Cong govt


 

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