Punjab Congress crisis: 3-member panel set up to sort out differences

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30

A three-member panel comprising CM Charanjit Singh Channi, Navjot Singh Sidhu and AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs will resolve the impasse over official appointments and induction of “tainted” ministers. A decision in this regard was taken after a more than two hours meeting between the CM, Sidhu and senior Congress leader Harish Chaudhary here this evening.

With Capt Amarinder Singh announcing that he would not be joining the BJP, the Congress high command appears to have decided on keeping Sidhu in the loop while picking a replacement for Advocate-General APS Deol. A panel of names has been sent to the UPSC for appointment of a new DGP. Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota is holding the additional charge of DGP for now. Sources said Sidhu was keen on getting Siddharth Chattopadhyaya, who headed the SIT probing drug charges against a senior police official.

The three-member panel would meet at least once a week to discuss key government decisions and appointments, indicating that Sidhu would be involved in the decision-making exercise. There was no consensus on replacing ‘tainted’ ministers. Sidhu was reported to be keen on inducting MLA Surjit Dhiman in the Cabinet. Sidhu later consulted his aides, including Pargat Singh, Dr Raj Kumar Verka and Kuljit Nagra. Channi has called meeting of his Council of Ministers on October 4.

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