Amid the ongoing infighting in the Punjab Congress, All India Congress Committee in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat on Wednesday met Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, a day after he met State party president Navjot Singh Sidhu.
After the meeting, Mr. Rawat said he expects his party colleagues to refrain from raising their grievances or issues through media as he himself follows the same practice. “When I impose restrain over myself not to talk to my party leaders through media, I believe that my party colleagues will also keep it in mind,” said Mr. Rawat, talking to reporters.
Party’s central leadership is learnt to have sent Mr. Rawat to resolve the infighting in Punjab after four Ministers, including Sukhjinder Randhawa, Tript Rajinder Bajwa, Sukhbinder Sarkaria and Charanjit Channi, besides a few MLAs on August 24 had expressed “lack of faith in the leadership of the Chief Minister in fulfilling the party’s 2017 Assembly election promises.”
Mr. Rawat said that he has urged that certain relief to electricity consumers should be given by the government, besides on the issue of Centre’s farm laws, the Chief Minister was requested to meet the State Governor again. “The Chief Minister informed me that actions were being taken surrounding the 18-point programme of the central leadership,” he said.
Earlier last evening, Mr. Rawat had a meeting with Mr. Sidhu and working presidents Kuljit Nagra and Pawan Goel and Punjab Congress Committee general secretary (organisation) Pargat Singh.
‘Demand not justified’
Deliberations were held on finalising State unit’s organisational structure, on which Mr. Rawat said that Mr. Sidhu has given an assurance that the whole process will be geared up in the next fortnight, said sources privy to the matter, adding that Mr. Rawat also conveyed that demand for replacing the Chief Minister ahead of the polls was not justified.
Party insiders said that Mr. Sidhu asserted that issues surrounding five priority areas of the ‘high commands’ 18-point agenda needed to be quickly addressed by the State government.
Apology for remark
Meanwhile, Mr Rawat courted a controversy after comparing State party president and working presidents with ‘Panj Pyaras’ (five beloved ones, who have a special place in Sikhism). However, on Wednesday he apologised, saying he didn’t have any intention to hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community. “It was wrong on my part to compare the working presidents with ‘Panj Pyare’, for which I sincerely apologies,” he said.