Punjab cabinet to meet today as impasse over CS prevails
Amid deadlock over CS, Punjab cabinet to meet today at 3pmUpdated: May 27, 2020 10:39 IST
Amid continued deadlock over the ministers’ demand for removal of the chief secretary, all eyes will be on the Punjab cabinet meeting scheduled to be held here at 3pm on Wednesday.
The meeting has been convened to discuss the post-Lockdown 4.0 strategy, state finances and the hike allowed by the centre in the state’s borrowing limit, but the ongoing row between senior cabinet ministers and chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh is expected to be the hot topic of discussion.
In the last cabinet meeting on May 11, the ministers had “unanimously” decided to boycott the chief secretary due to his “rude behaviour” with some of them, giving an ultimatum to chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to remove the IAS officer from the top bureaucratic position or they will not attend cabinet meetings in which he is present.
Though Amarinder took the luncheon diplomacy route and held meetings with cabinet ministers Manpreet Singh Badal, Charanjit Singh Channi and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and some other MLAs in the past one week, the deadlock appeared to be unresolved.
Manpreet and Channi told the chief minister on Monday to call the cabinet meeting and discuss the issue with all the ministers.
The notice for the cabinet meeting was issued by the chief secretary on Monday evening. However, it is not clear whether the CS would attend the cabinet meeting as he had taken half day’s leave and skipped the May 11 meeting which was conducted by additional chief secretary, home, Satish Chandra in his absence.
Though the ministers had announced the officer’s boycott together, three of them – health minister Balbir Sidhu, medical education minister OP Soni and food minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu – had later attended a Covid-19 meeting in which the chief secretary was also present.
Manpreet, Randhawa and Channi did not respond to calls or text messages.