- Amarinder Singh, Navjot Sidhu were advised to maintain restraint
- Navjot Singh Sidhu has been a critic of Punjab government
- Today's tweet by Mr Sidhu is a rare signal of cooperation
More than a week after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi and complained about his critic Navjot Singh Sidhu's "barbs", Mr Sidhu this morning put out a tweet in a rare signal of cooperation.
"Highly positive co-ordination meeting on proposal for (the) roster of Ministers to sit at Punjab Congress Bhawan!! (sic)" Mr Sidhu, 57, tweeted, along with a photo with Captain Amarinder Singh that shows both the leaders smiling for the camera. Mr Sidhu said he proposed that the state ministers should meet party workers at the Congress office to speed up the resolution of people issues.
A statement released by the Chief Minister's office later said that Captain Amarinder Singh and Mr Sidhu have agreed on setting up a 10-member Strategic Policy Group for better coordination between the party workers and the state government.
The group - headed by the Chief Minister - will hold weekly meetings and will focus on "expediting the (implementation of) government initiatives".
Highly positive Co-ordination meeting on proposal for roaster of Ministers to sit at Punjab Congress Bhawan !! pic.twitter.com/uPuUPEMQE9— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) August 20, 2021
The state ministers have also been assigned the task of meeting Congress MLAs and other party functionaries every day.
Have deputed all my Cabinet Ministers to be present for three hours from 11 am to 2 pm at @INCPunjab office daily beginning Monday, as per the roster, to interact with public and party cadre. pic.twitter.com/kr7mQG4SFs— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) August 20, 2021
Last week, during the Sonia Gandhi-Amarinder Singh meeting in Delhi, the Congress chief had directed that "both the state government and the Congress unit in Punjab must work together and not on cross purposes", the party's Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat had told reporters.
Mr Rawat had reportedly advised both Mr Sidhu and Captain Singh to "exercise restraint".
The meeting had preceded an anticipated cabinet reshuffle in Punjab.
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu was declared the Punjab Congress chief last month after weeks of infighting and in face of strong opposition by Captain Amarinder Singh. He has been a vehement critic of the state government.
Even after a month of assuming the new role, Mr Sidhu keeps pulling up the government for not fulfilling the pre-poll promises.
As Punjab prepares to vote next year, Mr Sidhu's criticism has been one of the major flashpoints in a political row that has threatened the Congress's pursuit to repeat the 2017 win.