Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is not backing away from showing newly appointed Punjab Congress Committee (PCC) President Navjot Singh Sidhu his place. After the Gandhi clan went over Captain’s ahead and granted the top party position to Sidhu, many thought that the two times CM was cut to size. However, turns out Captain has played his CID card to keep Sidhu on his toes.
According to an India Today report, only 48 MLAs had gathered at Sidhu’s residence on Wednesday, against the official number given out as 62, in an apparent show of strength. However, out of these 48 lawmakers as well as their close aides, many, at present, are facing serious allegations of financial irregularities and fraud. These members’ direct and indirect involvement in illegal activities like illicit mining and liquor trade has been found in the past.
Reportedly, CID officers in plain clothes were stationed outside Sidhu’s home and upon being asked by the publication, the said officers remarked that they were simply doing their duties.
As reported by TFI, Sidhu had sent an invitation to all 77 Congress lawmakers but not all turned up at the former cricketer’s residence. Among the prominent ministers who reached Sidhu’s house were Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Charanjit Singh Channi and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria besides the outgoing state unit chief Sunil Jakhar.
Charanjit Singh Channi, who was a part of Sidhu’s ‘show of strength’, could be one of the leaders on CID’s radar as he has already accused Captain of ‘vendetta politics’. He told the media that he had been persecuted and implicated in a false case after he raised issues pertaining to the Dalit community.
Darshan Brar, MLA of Moga’s Kasba Baghapurana and accused of defrauding the state exchequer of millions of rupees by indulging in illegal mining is expected to face the music as well. Amarinder is said to have directed his cabinet to put pressure on Brar through the mining department, which can also proceed with legal action against him.
As reported by TFI, it was at Captain’s behest that on the same day when Sidhu was publishing a feature-length thread on Twitter to direct the state government to provide 24-hour electricity that the latter’s outstanding nine-month dues of Rs 8,67,540 was brought into the public eye.
Truth of Power Costs, Cuts, Power Purchase Agreements & How to give Free & 24 hour Power to the People of Punjab:- 1. There is No need for Power-Cuts in Punjab or for the Chief Minister to regulate office timings or AC use of the Common People … If we Act in the right direction
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) July 2, 2021
Sidhu – PCC President
Sidhu is expected to take charge of the state unit today with a swearing-in ceremony. However, it is highly unlikely that Captain will attend the ceremony as he has made it amply clear that unless and until Sidhu apologizes for his distasteful tweets, the animosity will continue between the two leaders.
To ensure that the promotion was not granted to Sidhu, Captain had even written a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi and iterated that “forcibly interfering” with the working of the Punjab government could have serious implications. The letter read, “The party and the government may both have to bear the consequences of such a move,”
The power tussle between the two leaders is turning ugly by the day. While many political pundits thought Amarinder will be jumping the ship after the disrespect meted his way but it appears that the two-time state CM is willing to play the dirty and rough game to hold sway over his party.