Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (Retd.) (File Photo)
After stormy pre-budget meetings, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s meeting with state Congress MPs saw most of them raising issues of the government losing important cases in courts, losing revenue, illegal sand mining, Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), while expressing concern that the party was losing the game of perception.
Amarinder chaired the meeting to prepare the MPs to take up issues strongly in the upcoming Lok Sabha session. Rajya Sabha MP Partap Bajwa and PPCC president Sunil Kumar Jakhar were among those telling the meeting that the Congress would have to do a course correction.
Bajwa said, “I raised the issue of illegal mining and asked the CM to ensure no illegal activity was taking place in the state. I also told the CM that our image has been hit and we should take steps to reverse it. Otherwise it would cost the party dear. I also said that we were losing revenue in the form of excise duty also.”
Jakhar, it is learnt, raised the issue of an alleged food scam besides raising the issue of PPAs and coal washing for which the state had lost a case in the Supreme Court. Without naming Advocate General Atul Nanda, both leaders indicated that the government had lost important cases and it did not look good.
Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari is learnt to have backed the AG stating that the law officers were not at fault as the agreements by previous government were faulty.
Another Rajya Sabha MP, Shamsher Dullo, is also learnt to have raised the PPAs issue besides demanding an inquiry into the SC students scholarships issue. “I have been asking the CM to get an inquiry done ever since the government has taken over. But nothing has been done,” he told the media after the meeting.
Bajwa is learnt to have demanded that a white paper on the power scenario should be tabled soon and should not take six months.
Jakhar is learnt to have said that the PPAs should be revisited and the government should also take to a logical conclusion the issue of the Rs 31,000 crore foodgrains account. Sources said Jakhar told the CM that these were Akalis’s issues and the Congress had not done anything to sort these.