After Amarinder Singh announces party, Punjab Congress’ show of unity

Prime News, National (Chandigarh), Nov 3:- Fearing possible defections amid never-ending power tussles within, the Congress government in Punjab put up a show of unity on Tuesday, saying that ministers and legislators are firmly behind Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and are grateful for “landmark initiatives” for the state’s overall development.

The meeting took place hours after former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who quit after a long-drawn spell of infighting, formally resigned from the Congress and announced his new party. In his letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Mr Singh attacked the top party leadership and said that “concocted numbers” were put before Mrs Gandhi to convince her that state leaders did not back him.

Mr Singh also threatened to reveal names of ministers who were allegedly involved in sand mining during his tenure. Coupled with this, he also hinted that many Congress leaders are in touch with him and may switch to his party. Expectedly, alarm bells rang in the state Congress and a meeting of the Chief Minister with party MLAs and ministers was arranged in which Mr Channi appealed to them to stick together.

Following the meeting, the Chief Minister’s Office put out a statement, saying that the MLAs and ministers had cheered Mr Channi for his “bold decisions”. The statement specifically mentioned the Chief Minister’s move to convene a special Assembly session that sought termination of the Centre’s three farm laws and its notification to extend the BSF’s jurisdiction in Punjab. It also said that the party leaders had lauded the Chief Minister for his announcement to slash power rates in Punjab.

State party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, whose consistent statements at odds with the state government’s stand on a host of issues has emerged as a major problem for the Congress, was present at the meeting. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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