CHANDIGARH: AMID the pending cabinet expansion, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has been called by the Congress high command following which he has left for Delhi. The high command is itself trying to recast the Punjab Congress and the new state cabinet minus Amarinder Singh. It is also making sure that no leader gets absolute power in the state in order to ensure victory in the upcoming election.
The narrative that is being given is that it is meant to counter the anti-incumbency and correct the negative sentiments of the Amarinder Singh government. According to sources in the party, both Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi themselves are doing micro-management.
This is evident from the fact that they are working through their trusted leaders like Harish Chaudhary, Harish Rawat, Ambika Soni and K C Venugopal with inputs from political strategist Prashant Kishor. All these leaders are briefing the Gandhis on the profile of each party MLA being considered for the cabinet berth.
“A blend of experience and young faces is being considered for the new cabinet that could correct the negative narrative of the Congress in the state. The performance of the ministers in the Amarinder government and the allegation of corruption will be factored in the selection of the new council of ministers besides the age factor,” says a Congress leader.
Also, the party wants to negate the perception that now Sidhu is an all-powerful Congress leader in the state after Amarinder has been replaced. Sources say that Sidhu may not get absolute power as checks and balances are being put in place on him to ensure that power does not stay with one person.