Punjab: Amarinder’s scheduled event to mark 3 years in power raises concerns amid coronavirus fears

Kanchan Vasdev
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Many are skeptical about Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh's intention to address a media conference on Monday. (File)

AT A time when the Punjab government has banned conferences, fairs, sports events and cultural meets due to the coronavirus scare, its decision to sponsor several media summits on account of its three years in power has raised several eyebrows.

The summits are scheduled to be held at hotels in Chandigarh, where at least 500 dignitaries are expected to arrive from across the country.

Many are also skeptical about Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh's intention to address a media conference on Monday to list the achievements of his government in three years. He will be accompanied by all Cabinet ministers, PPCC president Sunil Jakhar and AICC General Secretary Asha Kumari.

“There will be at least 200 mediapersons who will come from across the state. Then there will be hundreds of party workers who would like to shake hands with the CM. One cannot refuse to meet party workers when you are at a public place. It sends a wrong message. Then we have a few elderly ministers also. Why should we expose them,” said a functionary.

The government has already shut schools, colleges, universities, gyms, cinema halls, pools and taverns till March 31. Several Cabinet ministers have already minimised their public contact.

“When the government is banning all congregations, why is it doing it itself? I do not know who is advising the CM on organising such conferences and summits. As far as the media address is concerned, the CM can always take to social media and go live on Facebook. The summits can be postponed till the coronavirus scare is over,” another functionary said.

Punjab Health Minister Balbir Sidhu also held a press conference in Chandigarh on Saturday, which met with criticism.

Raveen Thukral, media advisor to the CM, said he would take up these concerns with the chief minister.