Sunday, September 27, 2020

Punjab

Cong downplays feud between Punjab CM, two MPs

IANS | August 08, 2020 09:44 AM

NEW DELHI:The Congress has sought to downplay the party feud in Punjab where Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is at loggerheads with two Rajya Sabha MPs in connection with the recent spurious liquor tragedy in the state.

"Some of our MPs have asked questions and I don't know why people are misreading or reading too much into it. It's a simple exchange of words within the party. In our case it happens transparently, while in some parties it's not allowed, " said Congress leader Pawan Khera, while rejecting the assumption that Punjab could see a rebellion like the ones seen in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The entire Punjab Cabinet on Thursday pitched in for the expulsion of party MPs Pratap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo for alleged "anti-party and anti-government activities", which they termed as "gross indiscipline".

The ministers, in a joint statement, called for cracking the whip on the two MPs without any delay.

Indiscipline cannot be tolerated at any time, least of all when Assembly elections are less than two years away, the ministers said, pointing to the MPs' repeated attacks on the state government, including on Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

The two MPs had attacked their own government over the hooch tragedy and had approached the Governor to demand a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Department (ED) into the liquor deaths.

The hooch tragedy has claimed 111 lives -- 83 in Tarn Taran, 15 in Amritsar and 13 in Batala.

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar has also sought strict action against the two MPs.

Pratap Singh Bajwa and Chief Minister Amrinder Singh do not share a cordial relation as Bajwa was removed from the state President's post ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls and Amrinder Singh was appointed as the state chief.

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