After the Gandhi clan went over Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s head to hand over the reins of Punjab Congress Committee (PCC) to his political rival Navjot Singh Sidhu, the state CM is expected to restore the parity by piloting a cabinet reshuffle.
According to a Dainik Bhaskar report, Captain is expected to announce the rejig soon and the casualty of the move could be Sidhu loyalists. While those who stood by Captain during the last one and a half months will be granted promotions.
Tourism and Cultural Affairs minister Charanjit Singh Channi who had visited Sidhu’s house and later tagged along with him to the Golden temple might have to do away with his cabinet position. Similarly, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, the Rural Development and Panchayat Minister as well as Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria could be cut to size.
Meanwhile, Rajkumar Verka and Rana KP can be made ministers. Verka is an MLA from Amritsar and a prominent Dalit face of the Punjab Congress. He is also said to be close to the Captain. Rana KP is currently the Speaker of the Punjab Legislative Assembly and an OBC leader. Recently, Sidhu met him at his house in Chandigarh.
Moreover, the Punjab government on Monday shifted 11 IAS officers and 43 PCS officers, further suggesting that winds of change has started blowing in the state.
As reported by TFI, immediately after the announcement of Sidhu as the President of the state unit, CID officers in plain clothes were stationed outside Sidhu’s home. An India Today report claimed that these officers have been stationed to keep a close eye on Sidhu loyalists and open old cases against ministers facing serious allegations of financial irregularities and fraud.
Reportedly, it was at the Captain’s behest that on the same day when Sidhu was publishing a feature-length thread on Twitter to sermonise the state government to provide 24-hour electricity that the latter’s outstanding electricity bill of nine-month of Rs 8,67,540 was released in the public domain.
After taking the charge as the state unit President, Sidhu had tried to silence Captain, at least in front of the cameras by ambushing him. However, while the old vanguard might has kept relatively quiet at the public stage, he has indeed started pulling strings to set Sidhu in his place.
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,”
While several political experts thought that the duo of Gandhi family and Sidhu had clipped Captain for good, however, the recent turn of events points to an otherwise situation.