Punjab CM, Deputy CMs in Delhi to discuss Cabinet expansion; Sidhu tags along ‘in line of duty’

Mr. Sidhu uploaded a photo on Twitter showing him with Mr. Channi and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, one of the two Deputy Chief Ministers, beside a chartered plane. “In line of duty!!” he tweeted. Photo: Twitter/@sherryontopp  

The newly appointed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday headed to Delhi to discuss Cabinet formation with the party’s central leadership.

Mr. Channi, along with State Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, took a chartered flight to Delhi, where they met All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat, general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal to discuss the names of those to be included in the new Cabinet, party sources said.

Before heading to Delhi, Mr. Sidhu tweeted: “In line of duty!!” along with a photograph of him with Mr. Channi and Mr. Randhawa, posing near the chartered plane. The picture invited a lot of criticism from political parties.

As talks of the new Cabinet gained momentum, speculations are rife that the names of a few loyalists of former Chief Minister Captain (Retd.) Amarinder Singh, who was “cornered” by the party high command into resigning from his post, may be axed by Mr. Channi, a close aide of Mr. Sidhu’s.

In the new Cabinet, the names of Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Pargat Singh, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Inderbir Singh Bolaria, Madan Lal Jalalpu and Sangat Singh Gilzian are at the forefront.

Capt. Amarinder’s loyalists, including Brahm Mohindra, Gurmit Singh Sodhi and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, could be left out from the new Cabinet, according to sources.

Also, at the top administrative level changes are expected soon. Dinkar Gupta, the current Director General of Police could be replaced. The names of probables for the police chief post include 1986-batch IPS officer Sidharth Chattopadhyaya, 1987-batch V K Bhawra and 1988-batch Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota. On Tuesday as many as nine IAS officers were transferred.

Meanwhile, reacting for using the chartered plane from Chandigarh to New Delhi, leader of Opposition of Aam Aadmi Party Harpal Singh Cheema said that real faces of Mr Channi, Mr Sidhu and Mr Randhawa, who were claiming themselves as “poor common man” a day before had been exposed. “Channi, Sidhu and Randhawa should clarify whether the chartered plane to meet the High command was rented from the exchequer of the Punjab government or from the exchequer of the Punjab Congress Committee or by any corporate or mafia has done a special favour,” said Mr Cheema.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 7:27:47 AM |

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