Logjam ‘ends’ as ministers attend meet in Chief Secretary's presence - ECAS Punjab

Logjam ‘ends’ as ministers attend meet in Chief Secretary's presence

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Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18

Another meeting likely to be held

  • Amid the division among the ministers on the way forward to deal with the unwarranted situation, there are strong indications that with the intervention of the Chief Minister, a meeting between the top bureaucrat and the upset ministers could happen in the coming days.

With Cabinet Ministers Balbir Singh Sidhu, OP Soni and Bharat Bhushan Ashu attending a meeting convened by Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh on Monday, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh seems to have broken the logjam between the top bureaucrat and his Cabinet colleagues.

Balbir Sidhu, Soni and Ashu attended the meeting on lockdown-related issues, ration distribution to the stranded migrants and medical facilities. The meeting was held through videoconferencing and chaired by the Chief Minister. To ensure that the three ministers attend the meetings, a senior political functionary in the government is learnt to have called them up.

The development has raised a question mark over the unanimous decision of the ministers to abstain from any meeting attended by the Chief Secretary. Last week, the ministers had staged a walkout during a meeting on excise policy after the Chief Secretary allegedly misbehaved with them.

Incidentally, none of the 13 other ministers, who were reportedly part of the unanimous decision to abstain from the meetings, preferred to speak on today's development.

Only Rajya Sabha MP Partap Bajwa tweeted, "Today's meeting is a litmus test for those who would answer the call of their conscience after deciding unanimously to boycott the Chief Secretary. The people of Punjab are closely watching."

Though ministers Manpreet Badal, Charanjit Singh Channi and Sukhjinder Randhawa did not respond to calls, sources close to them said they would prefer to stick to the presence of the entire Cabinet, whenever the issue of the Chief Secretary is discussed in near future. Other ministers are likely to tow the line of rapprochement with the top officer as the Chief Minister is learnt to have told his close associates that the Chief Secretary is retiring in August this year.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3cJYa0t

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