Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Thursday met his predecessor Captain Amarinder Singh at his Siswan farmhouse in Mohali. The meeting is taking place at a time when the central leadership of the Congress met Navjot Singh Sidhu in Delhi and asked him to persuade him to reconsider his decision to resign from the post of Punjab Congress President. However, after the meeting, AICC general secretary Harish Rawat said that Sidhu will continue to be the Punjab Congress president.
This unscheduled meeting between Channi and Amarinder Singh has fueled rumors of a new political movement in the Punjab Congress. This was Channi’s first meeting with Amarinder Singh after becoming the Chief Minister of Punjab. Channi visits Amarinder Singh’s farmhouse with his family to seek blessings for his newly wed son and daughter-in-law.
The visit also comes on a day Punjab cabinet minister Pargat Singh took a dig at Amarinder Singh and claimed that he was joining hands with the BJP to agree with the Centre’s move to increase Punjab’s vigilance zone by the BSF. .
Political observers have interpreted the visit as one of Chaney’s strategic moves to “love” himself for all factions and consolidate his position at the top. Amarinder was critical of Singh when Channi was his cabinet minister, but when it comes to respecting elders, party and politics should be kept separate and Captain should be given the status of head of the family,” remarked a leader.
Sources close to Channi said that he first wanted to meet Amarinder Singh but the developments in the Congress after his appointment as Punjab CM stopped him from doing so. “For the CM, this is the right kind of optics. On one hand Sidhu is taking a dig at seniors like Amarinder Singh, on the other hand Channi is showing generosity by giving due respect to seniors, even if they are in the opposing camp,” remarked one of his aides.
After assuming the post of Chief Minister, Channi had said that Amarinder Singh was like the head of the family and his guidance would be taken and Amarinder Singh should continue in the Congress and support the functioning of the state government.
After Sidhu resigned over differences with Channi, he was called by the central leadership to hear his grievances. AICC General Secretary and Party General Secretary Navjot Singh Sidhu will be meeting me and (KC) Venugopal ji in the office of Punjab Congress President, Venugopal ji to discuss some organizational matters related to Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat had said.
Sidhu was not happy with the Chief Minister’s earlier cabinet expansion, allocation of portfolios and appointments to important posts including Advocate General and DGP.
The Congress wants to fix its house ahead of the crucial Punjab Assembly elections and despite the removal of Amarinder Singh, the issues have not been resolved.