More than a month after a strategic policy group was set up to ensure smooth coordination between Capt Amarinder Singh led Punjab government and State Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, the panel is yet to start functioning hinting at the continued rift between the two.
The policy group is yet to kick off as meetings have been postponed thrice, the latest being a few days back. The delays are being cited as a clear indication that the differences between the Chief Minister and PPCC chief are yet to be ironed out despite meetings with senior party leaders, including Harish Rawat, separately on various issues.
The group, comprising of ministers and the four working presidents, was first supposed to meet on September 2, then on September 9 and the meeting was again scheduled for September 16.
The reason given out every time for the postponement was said to be the non-availability of the members. The group comprises ministers Brahm Mohindra, Manpreet Singh Badal, Aruna Chaudhary, OP Soni, Balbir Sidhu and Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Congress working presidents Sangat Singh Gilzian, Kuljit Nagra, Sukhwinder Danny and Pawan Goel and Pargat Singh.
While chief minister Singh is chairman of the committee, Sidhu, being PCC chief, is the co-chairman. There have been differences since its inception. Though more Chief Minister’s camp members were initially included, later the additional members, primarily Sidhu loyalists, were picked up.
Senior Congress leader said discussing pending issues keeping aside personal differences is the solution. “But all the composition and combinations would be perfect if the committee members met and decided to take up pending issues of the people and keeping their personal differences aside," the leader said. Party leaders admitted that the delays in holding the meeting are leading to confusion among the party cadre ahead of the Punjab assembly elections with conflicting statements coming from both sides.