Mohali: The cracks are not only showing, but they seem to be widening too.
From holding hands together to ease out Amarinder Singh from the throne and becoming a shadow of Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, former state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu was conspicuous by his absence at Channi’s son Navjit’s wedding here on Sunday.
“Darshan of the primordial mother during Navratras is synergising ... Washes away all the dirt from the soul!! Blessed to be at the lotus feet of Mata Vaishno Devi” Sidhu tweeted from the hills in Jammu.
Sidhu flew directly from Lucknow to Jammu to pay obeisance to Mata Vaishno Devi. He had also tweeted earlier on the need to penalise private thermal power plants for not keeping coal stocks for 30 days as Punjab will face blackouts if supply was not replenished.
“Sidhu’s honeymoon with the government is coming to an end. Channi has asked him to simply concentrate on party affairs and leave governance to ministers. He has also been requested to raise matters in party forums only. It remains to be seen for how long can such a deal continue? Till now it has been a failure as Sidhu has been commenting on governance every now and then,” a senior Congress leader remarked.
Congressmen in the state continue to remain on tenterhooks over whether Sidhu is the state party chief or is continuing as a “caretaker” till a suitable candidate is found. His resignation has still not been accepted officially by the high command nor has Sidhu announced anything to the contrary.
Almost all of Sidhu’s demands have so far been met with only assurances by Channi. Sidhu wanted Siddharth Chattopadhyay to be the DGP and D.S. Patwalia as attorney general. But Channi appointed A.P.S. Deol and IPS Sahota, instead.
“Sidhu may be wanting to do things that can benefit the state and the party. He wants immediate decisions which the chief minister cannot as he has to follow certain rules. Amarinder ran the administration with the help of his officers and not representatives of the people and it will take at least a month more for Channi to get things going politically for the party. There are cracks which need to be filled. We are working hard towards that end,” a minister said on anonymity.
Among those who attended Channi’s son Navjit’s wedding at a local gurdwara here included Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit, AICC general secretary Harish Rawat, ministers and
Till the filing of this report late in the evening, Sidhu had not tweeted any message congratulating Channi for his son’s wedding.
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