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Despite Capt Amarinder’s denial, his meeting with party MPs was scheduled as per record

The meeting was deferred a day after Bajwa criticised the state government. However, the CM on Monday denied deferment of the meeting, saying no such meeting was planned in the first place.

punjab Updated: Nov 07, 2017 13:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Capt Amarinder,Partap Singh Bajwa,Punjab Congress
HT is in possession of an October 31 letter wherein parliamentary affairs t principal secretary KAP Sinha had said, “Holding a joint meeting of Punjab MPs of all parties before the start of session of parliament.” The meeting was fixed at Punjab Bhawan at 3.30 pm on November 6. (HT File )

Even as Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s claimed that no meeting was planned with state MPs, including Partap Singh Bajwa, on Monday (November 6), the official record of the state government shows that the meeting was very much planned and was later deferred.

The meeting was deferred a day after Bajwa criticised the state government. However, the CM on Monday denied deferment of the meeting, saying no such meeting was planned in the first place.

HT is in possession of an October 31 letter wherein parliamentary affairs t principal secretary KAP Sinha had said, “Holding a joint meeting of Punjab MPs of all parties before the start of session of parliament.” The meeting was fixed at Punjab Bhawan at 3.30 pm on November 6.

On November 1, Bajwa criticised the government for not taking action against former Akali ministers in connection with various scams and said that he would raise the issue in the November 6 meeting.

However a day after his remarks, the parliamentary affairs department wrote to the chief secretary and other higher officials that “the meeting of November 6, which was scheduled at Punjab Bhawan, has been postponed due to the busy schedule of the Chief Minister. The meeting will now take place on November 14. The agenda of meeting will be circulated in next meeting”.

There is some confusion, says CM’s media adviser

When asked to comment on this letter, CM’s media adviser Raveen Thukral said, “There is some confusion. No one can raise a party issue in the November 14 meeting, wherein MPs of all parties will take part.”

He said, “Let me clarify once again that the press note clearly says no meeting of Congress MPs has been convened. The party agenda is decided by the party. The press note was in response of some reports and queries about meeting of Congress MPs.

He added, “The all-party meet you are referring to is a state matter and the agenda is to prepare all MPs to raise important issues in Parliament. There is no question of any party-related grievances or issues being issued in such a meeting.”

Amarinder’s denial

In a statement on Monday, the chief minister rubbished reports that he had postponed the meeting of MPs scheduled for Monday, thus depriving Bajwa a forum to air his so-called grievances.

Amarinder said while party MPs, including Bajwa, were welcome to meet him any time, it was not his domain to convene any meeting to set their agenda ahead of parliamentary session. That was the prerogative of the party leaders, he added.

Every Congress member had the right to air his/her grievances in the party forum, and Bajwa was also free to take up any issue troubling him with the Congress leadership, the CM added.

He reiterated that he had no clue about the reasons for Bajwa’s perceived unhappiness with the state government, as had been reported by a section of the media.

“In a large party like the Congress, one could not rule out some discontent on some issues here or there but the same could easily be resolved through intra-party dialogue and discussion,” Amarinder said.

He added that if any MP, MLA or worker had any reason to feel disgruntled, they should not hesitate to raise it within the party forum.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 13:51 IST