The fissures in Punjab Congress came to the fore yet again as Sunil Jakhar slammed CM Charanjit Singh Channi for accepting the resignation of Advocate General Amar Preet Singh Deol. Prior to Tuesday's announcement, Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu had refused to resume his responsibilities unless a new AG is appointed. Jakhar asserted that Deol's ouster was an indication that the Punjab CM is "compromised". Moreover, the former Punjab Congress chief hinted that the government was being indirectly controlled by Sidhu. Jakhar has reportedly been at odds with the party after being ignored for the CM's post.
The ouster of a competent yet 'allegedly' compromised officer has exposed a 'really' compromised CM.— Sunil Jakhar (@sunilkjakhar) November 10, 2021
Giving rise to a pertinent question-
Whose government is it Anyway ?
(*Apologies to BBC's radio drama - Whose line is it Anyway)
The Punjab Congress president had expressed dissatisfaction over APS Deol's appointment as the latter had appeared for former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and other accused in the sacrilege cases in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. On November 6, Deol released a statement accusing Sidhu of obstructing the functioning of the government. He alleged that the Punjab Congress president was spreading "misinformation" about sacrilege cases and the drugs matter to gain political advantage over his colleagues. He also claimed that the constitutional office of the AG was being targeted to malign Congress in view of the polls.
Throwing weight behind his legal team, Charanjit Singh Channi asserted, " Our lawyers have fought hard and got permission for interrogating Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in sacrilege cases. Our guru's issue will be solved soon. The drugs matter is a serious matter of our state. The sealed reports on the drugs case which has been submitted to High Court will hopefully open on November 18. People who ruined Punjab have to answer". However, Sidhu continued his diatribe against the state government on Monday by questioning its inaction in the sacrilege cases and the drugs menace.
Taking a U-turn on Tuesday, the Punjab CM announced that a new AG, as well as DGP, will be appointed soon. The former swashbuckling batsman's presence in the press conference is being perceived as an indication that the Congress high command has managed to broker a temporary truce between the two leaders. However, the Sonia Gandhi-led party faces a tough task in the 2022 Punjab Assembly polls with the Shiromani Akali Dal, Punjab Lok Congress and AAP seeking to make inroads.