Punjab Ministers meet Congress Central leader

It comes just days after Home Minister publically aired his differences with PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu

Congress general secretary in charge of organisation K.C. Venugopal on Tuesday had a meeting with senior Ministers of Punjab, including Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.

Though there is no official word on the purpose of the meeting, the timing is significant- it comes just days after Mr. Randhawa publically aired his differences with Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

At a recent public rally, Mr. Sidhu questioned his own government for not arresting Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, against whom the government had registered an FIR (first information report) in a drug case.

“FIR has already been registered and raids are being conducted to arrest Bikram Majithia who is behaving like a fox,” Mr. Randhawa, who holds the Home portfolio, countered.

At a press conference on Monday, he said the Punjab Congress chief was ‘unhappy’ at his (Mr. Randhawa) elevation as Home Minister. He was willing to give it up if that makes Mr. Sidhu happy, he had stated.

Attack on government

Many believe Mr. Sidhu’s consistent attack on the Charanjit Singh Channi government over issues such as the sacrilege case or the drug mafia could be a way of putting pressure on the party’s top leadership to name him as the party’s chief ministerial face in the coming Assembly polls.

Mr. Sidhu, though, has officially always denied that he has been aspiring for any position in the government.

Tuesday’s meeting with Mr. Venugopal could also about the party’s plan about the next phase of election campaign in the State.

Former party chief Rahul Gandhi was scheduled to address public rallies in the State by January second week. But in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases, the party may have to rework its plans and focus more on digital campaigns and virtual rallies.

Among those who attended the meeting at Mr. Venugopal’s place included Ministers Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Pargat Singh and Raja Warring.

While Mr. Warring and Mr. Pargat Singh are known to be Mr. Sidhu’s close aides, Mr. Ashu and Mr. Randhawa have spoken out against the State Congress chief.

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