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Rahul Gandhi Forms Panels in Punjab for 2019 Polls, No Place for Navjot Singh Sidhu

The name of cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu, who switched over from the BJP to the Congress ahead of last year's assembly elections, does not figure in either of the two committees.

PTI

Updated:May 1, 2018, 11:45 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi Forms Panels in Punjab for 2019 Polls, No Place for Navjot Singh Sidhu
File photo of Punjab Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today approved two key panels comprising senior leaders for coordination and monitoring in Punjab ahead of Lok Sabha polls next year but the name of state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was conspicuously missing from these committees.

The coordination committee will have 15 members including Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, AICC in-charge Asha Kumari and PCC chief Sunil Jakhar besides some ministers and MLAs while the 20-member monitoring committee has some other party leaders and ministers including Manpreet Badal.

The name of cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu, who switched over from the BJP to the Congress ahead of last year's assembly elections, does not figure in either of the two committees. Sidhu is currently the minister of local government, tourism, cultural affairs, and museums in Punjab.

According to a statement issued by AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot, Gandhi also cleared the appointment of 16 party leaders, including some young leaders, as spokespersons in the state.

Among others who are part of the coordination committee are senior party leader Ambika Soni, AICC secretaries Harish Chaudhary and Kishori Lal Sharma, former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and senior party leaders Lal Singh and Brahm Mohindra.

Cabinet ministers in Punjab government, Charanjit Singh Channi and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, party MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh and legislators Raj Kumar Verka and Kuljit Singh Nagra are also in the coordination panel.

Amarinder Singh's confidante Capt Sandeep Singh Sandhu, who is also the general secretary of Congress's Punjab unit, also finds place in the panel.

In the 20-member monitoring committee, besides Asha Kumari, Amarinder Singh, Jakhar and Harish Chaudhary, Cabinet ministers Manpreet Singh Badal, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Aruna Chaudhary, Vijay Inder Singla have been included.

Mandi Board chairman Lal Singh and MLAs Kuldeep Singh Vaid, Tarsem Singh, Raj Kumar Chabbewal are also part of the panel as is former MLA Karan Brar.

Punjab Congress leaders Amar Singh, Jai Singh, Sandeep Singh Sandhu, Emmunal Nahar and Vijay Kalra, Punjab Youth Congress chief Amarpreet Singh Lalli and state Mahila Congress president Mamata Dutta are also part of the monitoring panel.

Among the new spokesperson decided by the party are MLAs Dalvir Singh Goldy, Sukhwinder Singh Danny and Inderjit Singh Zira, besides party leaders Amar Singh Barinder Singh Dhillon, Navjot Dahiya, Rajpal Singh, Surjit Swaich, Ravinder Pal Singh Palli and Savita Sisodia.

The Congress chief also cleared the name of Harmail Kesari as general secretary, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Gehlot said in the statement.

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| Edited by: Tarun Bhardwaj
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