Amarinder Singh To Make His Case Again In Delhi, Signalling Scale Of Mess




Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is facing dissent within the state Congress.


Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is in Delhi for a second time today to meet a central Congress team amid the ongoing infighting in the party’s state unit. The meeting will be held tomorrow, sources said. Earlier this month, the Chief Minister had met a three-member panel constituted by party chief Sonia Gandhi to resolve the factionalism that has set off a crisis ahead of next year’s assembly elections in one of the few states the Congress rules.

Earlier this month, the central team had met all the state Congress leaders as well as Mr Singh to iron out the differences, but the grouses against him have continued. The latest flashpoint was the Punjab cabinet’s decision to give two state government jobs to the sons of Congress MLAs.

Sunil Jakhar — the Punjab Congress chief and the biggest critic of Mr Singh — who has sounded conciliatory notes just three days ago, has made an U-turn again and demanded that the “ill-advised” move be rolled back.

Mr Singh has refused, saying it is a “small token of gratitude and compensation for the sacrifices of their families”.

A section of leaders have objected to Mr Singh’s leadership, citing the government’s inaction in sacrilege cases, under-representation of Dalits in the government and the inaccessibility of the Chief Minister due to his coterie.

The MLAs are worried that since most of the party’s promises made before the last elections have not been delivered, they might have to face the wrath of the rural voters.

The party panel has suggested that Navjot Sidhu – Mr Singh’s bitter critic – must be pacified with a larger role.

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