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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Month gone, but not reasons for former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh’s ejection | Ludhiana News


JALANDHAR: A month after Capt Amarinder Singh was ousted from the Punjab chief minister office, not much seems to have been done on the major issues by his replacement Charanjit Singh Channi and the new cabinet. Apart from a few popularistic announcements and focus on their own constituencies, as the poll are just three months away, the new dispensation has hardly moved on the matters that became reason of strain between Amarinder and Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu.
After Channi became first scheduled caste Sikh CM of Punjab, he has been doing every bit to project himself as common man’s chief minister with some simple straight talk, narrating tales of his modest background, gestures like ‘shagun’ to a newlywed couple and eating at modest households. Channi ensures photo opportunities to appear as grounded, accessible and hard working CM.
This is quite in contrast to Captain Amarinder Singh’s image, who would be addressed as ‘Maharaja Sahib’ by the ministers, MLAs and his cronies, and was considered inaccessible. In the past one month, the Congress government has announced to waive off power bills of those having electricity connection of up to 2 KW. The move will cost the exchequer Rs 1,200 crore.
It has also decided to waive off all pending water bills of rural and urban areas and impose a monthly flat rate of Rs 50 per connection. There would be no water tariff for houses on plot size below 125 square yards. The government, read tax payers, will have to foot additional bill of Rs 1,900 crore for this. Channi has also decided to give property rights to dwellers of houses within the ‘lal dora’ in around 12,000 villages and cities of the state. These waivers and concessions are likely to have impact on major section of people.
While one debates the addition to financial peril that Punjab is already facing, even the progress on the 18-point agenda given by the party high command to Channi’s predecessor not seen. After all, the reasons for Amarinder’s removal was his performance on these issues. Later, Sidhu had given “five highpriority points” and again picked 13 points from the 18-point agenda given by high command. Most prominent of these issues are: justice in sacrilege and police firing cases, drugs, illegal mining and power purchase agreements (PPAs) with private power generators.
Channi has been avoiding any reference to these18 point agenda or the five high propriety issues, even though while taking charge he promised justice in sacrilege cases. Channi was among the Congress leaders who used these issues as a lever to eject Amarinder from the CM office. At the same time, appointment of former DGP Sumedh Saini’s counsel A P S Deol’s as Punjab advocate general by Channi created a huge controversy after which Sidhu even announced his resignation.
The worst of it all is that synchronisation in working of the party and government is still not visible. The strained relations between the CM and the Punjab Congress president are now a public knowledge. Despite a meeting between the two around a week back, Sidhu on Sunday again underlined that he would stick to the “real issues”. In contrast to CM’s earlier claim, based on finance minister Manpreet Badal’s assertion that there was no dearth of funds, Sidhu talked of countering financial emergency staring Punjab in face.
Others attacking amarinder, channi silent
When Navjot Sidhu, deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, ministers Pargat Singh and Amrinder Singh Raja Warring have been having a go at Captain Amarinder Singh, CM Channi has not uttered a single word about his predecessor, not even to shield his party and the Gandhis.
Simplicity makes political shrewdness subtle
If Channi’s narrating tales of his modest background matches with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s style, appearing aam aadmi matches Arvind Kejriwal’s. However, his subtlety in political shrewdness is his totally his own and still somewhat underrated. Former CM Parkash Singh Badal epitomised this attribute. Then it is his caste factor which is his strongest point. There is no other leader in the Congress whose political graph has risen like this and Channi has definitely gained maximum out of internal squabbling in the Congress.





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