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Appoint party workers to posts first, everyone else can wait: Rahul Gandhi to Punjab CM

Congress president Rahul Gandhi met Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar and general secretary in-charge of Punjab Asha Kumari.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2019 14:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Congress president Rahul Gandhi met party leaders from Punjab including CM Amarinder Singh to discuss preparations for the upcoming LS polls, Monday, January 7, 2019.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi met party leaders from Punjab including CM Amarinder Singh to discuss preparations for the upcoming LS polls, Monday, January 7, 2019.(Arvind Yadav/HT File )
         

Workers first — the diktat of Congress president Rahul Gandhi to party’s Punjab leadership was clear and loud at a meeting held at New Delhi on Monday to discuss preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Rahul met Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar and general secretary in-charge of Punjab Asha Kumari. The leaders discussed campaign and publicity committees for the Lok Sabha elections and appointments to government bodies. Amarinder also met Rahul separately.

The party president told the state party top brass that workers should be appointed in government bodies first and everyone else can wait. “Like Donald Trump’s slogan was America first, Rahul’s mantra is workers first. His main concern was that they are the primary blocks of the party and should not feel left out. The Congress president said whoever worked for the victory of the party should be accommodated and given whatever was assured to them. He has left it to the CM to take a final call,” Jakhar said after the meeting.

The positions workers are likely to be accommodated include market committees, district planning boards, district grievance redressal committees, zila parishads and panchayat samitis. In its 21 months in power, the Amarinder government has anointed loyalists of the CM, ministers, senior party leaders and former bureaucrats to plum positions, which has fuelled resentment among party workers. Though Rahul wants doles for workers not MLAs, senior legislators denied cabinet berths are likely to be pacified with chairmanships of boards and corporations under the office of profit bill passed by the state assembly.

Talking to the media later, Amarinder said: “We discussed a host of state government and party related issues in view of the forthcoming parliamentary elections.” He also congratulated Rahul for party’s victory in the recent state polls.

The CM said that the central government had not sanctioned any funds for the construction work to start on the Indian side of the Kartarpur corridor. While Pakistan has already started work on the construction of the road on their side, development work had yet to start in the Indian Punjab as the state government had not got any funds from the Centre for acquiring land for building the infrastructure, he told the media.

First Published: Jan 08, 2019 14:18 IST

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