While extending an olive branch to Navjot Sidhu who resigned as the PCC president, Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi made it clear that the party is supreme. Addressing a press briefing after chairing the Cabinet meeting, Channi refuted the notion that Sidhu was intentionally trying to harm the government. Inviting the former batsman for talks, he exuded confidence in resolving the issue via discussion.
Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi remarked, "The party chief is the head. The head has to put forth his argument strongly and take it forward. So, I talked to Sidhu Sahab on the telephone today as well. I told him that the party is supreme. The government runs on the basis of the party's ideology. You come, sit and talk. If you find any shortcomings, you could raise them before also and can do so now too."
On this occasion, he made a big announcement that was perceived as a move to bolster his party's chances going into the Punjab Assembly election. He declared that the pending power bills of consumers of up to 2kW will be paid by the state government. While this will benefit approximately 53 lakh families in the state, it puts a burden of Rs.1200 crore on the state exchequer. Moreover, the power connections of those who were unable to pay their bills in the past will also be restored. The CM also revealed that a new policy was being prepared to check the sand mafia in the state.
[LIVE] Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi addressing the press conference at Punjab Civil Secretariat, Chandigarh. https://t.co/oxKijDHdRy— Government of Punjab (@PunjabGovtIndia) September 29, 2021
In a big blow to the Gandhis a day earlier, Sidhu announced his resignation on Twitter citing that "the collapse of a man's character stems from the compromise corner." While maintaining that he can never compromise on Punjab's future and the agenda for the welfare of the state, the former cricketer affirmed that he will continue working for the Congress party. Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Sidhu stated that he is ready to make any sacrifice for the people.
He stressed, "17 years of my political career has been for a purpose, to make difference, to take a stand and to make people's lives better". Hinting that he would not take back his resignation, he alleged that those who gave a clean chit to the Badals are being given important positions in the new dispensation. This was seen as an indirect reference to the appointment of Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota and Amar Preet Singh Deol as the DGP and Advocate General respectively.
Navjot Singh Sidhu said, "I can neither mislead the high command nor let it be misguided. I am ready to sacrifice anything to fight for justice and to improve the lives of the people of Punjab. I don't need to think for this."