Chandigarh. The crisis of Congress in Punjab does not seem to be over yet. The Congress high command has crowned Charanjit Singh Channi as the Chief Minister, but now many think tanks of Congress including Rahul Gandhi are scrambling to decide the new CM’s cabinet. On Friday also, a meeting was held at Rahul Gandhi’s residence from 2 pm to 4 am to finalize the cabinet and the list of the cabinet which was prepared by the high command on Thursday was considered.
The Indian Express, quoting sources, said in a report that there are differences between CM Charanjit Singh Channi and PPCC chief Navjot Sidhu over the selection of the new state cabinet. Due to which the expansion of the cabinet is getting delayed. This is the CM’s third visit to Delhi in the last few days. He was called again to Delhi on Friday morning itself. The important thing in this is that the party high command did not call Sidhu for two out of three meetings.
Sources said that Sidhu and Channi were not unanimous on the inclusion of several MLAs in the cabinet. Differences have come to the fore over the inclusion of Raja Vading, Pargat Singh and Kuljit Nagra. While Sidhu is strongly supporting all three. Channi believes that the people of the organization should focus on the party as elections are near. Pargat Singh is the PPCC general secretary and Nagra is the working president.
Simultaneously, Sidhu is supporting Raja Vading, but former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal is strongly opposing him. Badal also played an important role in Channi becoming the CM. Channi was called to Delhi on Thursday and had two rounds of meetings with senior leader KC Venugopal, general secretary in-charge Harish Rawat, Harish Choudhary and Ajay Maken and finally Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi was again called for a meeting on Friday after meeting former PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar for about 45 minutes.
It is being told that Jakhar also had an idea to make some MLAs ministers. The party is trying to influence Jakhar to accept a role in the cabinet, but he refuses. Sources privy to the meeting said that Jakhar has told Rahul that he does not want any post in the government.
Before this stir, the Congress in Punjab was waiting for the list of cabinet ministers as the chief minister had told his colleagues that the list had been finalized, to be placed before AICC chief Sonia Gandhi for finalisation. While the party retains most of the ministers in Amarinder’s cabinet, it is yet to induct a few new ministers. But the final decision is not being taken on some.
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