In an apparent show of strength, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh met around 55 Congress MLAs and eight MPs over dinner at the home of a cabinet colleague here on Thursday. Earlier in the day, three of the four ministers who wanted that the CM be replaced for not keeping some of the party's poll promises skipped a meeting of council of ministers.
The chief minister's meeting with party legislators has come amid the infighting between camps of the CM and state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who once again reminded Amarinder Singh of his promise to slash power rates. "Congress Party stands by its resolve to give domestic power at 3 Rs per unit and industrial power at 5 Rs per unit through annulment of PPAs, along with the already provided Subsidy for over 10,000 Crores to Farmers and SC, BC, BPL familiesThis promise too must be fulfilled," Sidhu said in a tweet tagging a video of the CM. The Punjab CM met around 55 party MLAs and eight MPs at the official residence of Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi who hosted the dinner, according to sources.
Earlier in the day, Cabinet ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa skipped a virtual meeting of the state council of ministers chaired by Amarinder Singh, the sources said. However, minister Charanjit Singh Channi attended the meeting. Besides Bajwa, Randhawa, Sarkaria, Channi and three legislators Kulbir Singh Zira, Surjit Dhiman and Barindermeet Singh Pahra had gone to Dehradun to meet party general secretary Harish Rawat on Wednesday.
Rawat, who is the in-charge of Punjab affairs at the AICC, had said the next year's Punjab Assembly polls will be fought under the leadership of Amarinder Singh, delivering a snub to the leaders wanting the removal of the CM. Rawat had also said that there was no threat to the Amarinder Singh-led government in Punjab and the party's victory prospects in the upcoming Assembly elections. The Congress has 80 MLAs and eight MPs in the state.