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Mission Tandarust Punjab: Congress MLAs give function a miss, 15 meet in Chandigarh

The main event was presided over by the CM in Mohali and by ministers in district headquarters. All MLAs were sent invites by the respective deputy commissioners but several of them gave the function a miss.

punjab Updated: Jun 06, 2018 11:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Mission Tandarust Punjab,Mission Tandarust,Congress MLAs
Mission Tandarust Punjab is a brainwave of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh. (Representative image )

“Mission Tandarust Punjab”, a brainwave of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to make the state healthiest in the country, failed to get a hearty response from Congress MLAs on its launch on Tuesday.

The main event was presided over by the CM in Mohali and by ministers in district headquarters. All MLAs were sent invites by the respective deputy commissioners but several of them gave the function a miss.

Resentment is still brewing among Congress legislators over the cabinet expansion. Around 15 MLAs converged in Chandigarh for a meeting, ignoring the government’s invite. The MLAs who attended the meeting refused to divulge their names and also what was discussed at the meeting.

With Doaba being allotted just one berth in the council of ministers, just one of four MLAs turned up at the official function in Jalandhar presided over by MP Santokh Chaudhary. Three MLAs Pargat Singh, Bawa Henry and Rajinder Beri were not present.

Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Cheema was not present at the function held in Kapurthala, while Urmur MLA Sangat Singh Gilzian did not attend the official function at Hoshiarpur presided by industry minister Sunder Sham Arora, who is the only one to bag a cabinet slot from Doaba.

Gilzian, when contacted, said he was in Chandigarh due to a personal engagement. Cheema said he was in Chandigarh for swearing-in of Hardev Singh Ladi who won recently from Shahkot seat.

In Fatehgarh Sahib, food and supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu was deputed to preside over the function but Amloh MLA Randeep Singh Nabha was not present. Nabha, when contacted, said the invite came late and he had prior engagements. He was among the MLAs who met Congress president Rahul Gandhi last month to express their resentment over seniority being “ignored” in the cabinet expansion.

Samrala MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon also skipped the programme at Ludhiana presided over by health minister Brahm Mohindra. He too had met Rahul along with Nabha. Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Rakesh Pandey and Gurkirat Kotli too were not present in district-level functions.

With many Dalit and backward class MLAs too being angry over their communities being “ignored” for ministerial positions, a party MLA present at the meeting said: “We will also reach out to SC and backward class legislators and ask them to join ranks against the indifference and open favouritism being shown by the state leadership.”

“Tandarust Punjab” is Captain’s answer to #HumFitTohIndiaFit campaign of the Centre to underline the importance of staying fit.

First Published: Jun 06, 2018 11:35 IST