Dispute between Amarinder, Sidhu would be good for Congress, says Harish Rawat

Speaking to ANI, Rawat said that the people assume party leaders in Punjab are fighting because the 'brave' leaders put forward their opinion strongly.
Former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat (Photo | PTI)
Former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader and the party's in-charge for Punjab Harish Rawat on Tuesday dismissed reports of friction between state Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Navjot Singh Sidhu, and said if there is any dispute between the two leaders in future, it would be beneficial for the party.

Speaking to ANI, Rawat said that the people assume party leaders in Punjab are fighting because the 'brave' leaders put forward their opinion strongly.

"Punjab is the land of braves. People there put their opinion very strongly there and it looks like they will fight. But, there is nothing like that, and they find solutions to their problems. Punjab Congress is solving their issues themselves. We are not doing anything," the Congress leader said.

When asked about the relation between Amarinder Singh and Sidhu, Rawat said, "If there would be a dispute, it would be good for Congress."

Rawat also slammed the BJP government in Haryana and the Centre over protest by farmers, saying it has failed to fulfil promises made to them.

He alleged that BJP lures farmers by showing them "big dreams" but works against their interests after coming to power.

"The BJP lures people including farmers and labourers. But when they get a chance to prove themselves, they do just the opposite. Today the land of farmers is in danger, mandi of farmers, FCI is in danger and the small shops are in danger, " Rawat told ANI.

He said that farmers in Haryana had to face police action. "Haryana has become of land of atrocities on farmers," he alleged. 

Meanwhile, a day after Amarinder took a swipe at his two dissident ministers over the issue of declaring Batala as a new district, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa Tuesday said the matter was earlier raised in a cabinet meeting.

In a letter to the CM, both the ministers also said they were least bothered as to who gets the credit for creating Batala as the 24th district of the state.

Tript and Randhawa were responding to the Punjab CM's statement Monday in which he had said that the Batala issue was already under consideration.

The CM had also pointed out that Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa had raised this issue in a letter last month.

Tript and Randhawa on September 4 had sought a meeting with the CM over the creation of Batala as a new district of the state.

"You can give credit to whosoever you want and we are just not bothered about such trivialities. But please just concede our request."

Maintaining that this issue was earlier raised in the cabinet meeting, they wrote, "You (the CM) may not even remember that in the cabinet meeting in which it was decided to make Malerkotla a district, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and the then President of Punjab Congress Sunil Jakhar (special invitee) had raised their voice for upgrading Batala to a district."

They wrote, "Your statement in the newspapers also reveals that Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa has also written a letter to you to make Batala a district. This is a bit surprising because the person who has direct access to you should not have the need to write a letter to you."

"Needless to say, these letters have been a source of disgrace to the Congress party, your government and you personally also," they added.

Seeking to justify them writing a letter to the CM, the two ministers said, "We had to adopt the medium of writing to you to convey to you the legitimate and longstanding demand of the people of Batala city and region to make Batala a district because you have been distancing from public for a long time."

"All meetings, including the cabinet, are being held by video conference. So we had no choice but to write to you."

Tript and Randhawa were earlier considered close to Amarinder Singh but later turned his critics.

Two other ministers Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Charanjit Singh Channi had declared a rebellion against the CM.

Partap Singh Bajwa, who was previously known as a strident critic of Amarinder Singh, appeared to have sided with the Punjab CM, amid the internal rift in the Punjab Congress.

(With PTI Inputs)

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