Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh meets Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi

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Discussed 18-point agenda, says Harish Rawat; meeting comes ahead of much anticipated cabinet reshuffle

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the latter’s residence in New Delhi—a development that comes ahead of a much-anticipated cabinet reshuffle.

Harish Rawat, the All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Punjab, said the two discussed the party’s 18-point agenda.

“Some points were made (by the Punjab Congress). He (Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh) listed out some problems (pertaining to Punjab), the challenges, and also listed the ones where actions that have been initiated already,” Rawat said. “This is an election-bound state, and since we’re in power, we’d like to monitor the situation in the state to find out how they’ve been tackled. The Congress president was satisfied with his response.”

He claimed both Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu that Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Navjot Singh Sidhu—Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s former cabinet colleague and an old political rival—were “cooperating” with one other.

However, PTI quoted as saying Singh reportedly raised the issue of Navjot Singh Sidhu’s continued attacks on the Congress government in the state.

“She (the Congress president) told me that it was my duty to ensure that the two resolved their differences within themselves.”

When asked about the touted cabinet reshuffle, he said the chief minister spoke about the difficulties he faced in the everyday functioning of the cabinet, and also spoke about lack of representation from certain communities like the Valmikis.

“The Congress president will take a call soon,” he said.

Amarinder Singh’s media adviser, Raveen Thukral, tweeted quoting the Chief Minister that the two discussed “state-related issues”.

“Met @INCIndia president #SoniaGandhi ji in Delhi this evening to discuss various state related issues. Spent an extremely satisfying one hour with her,” Thukral’s tweet said.

Singh also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah while he was in Delhi.

Ahead of meeting Sonia Gandhi, Amarinder had detailed discussions with poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who had recently resigned from his post as adviser to the Chief Minister.

From Sonia Gandhi’s residence, the Punjab Chief Minister went to meet Home Minister Amit Shah.

Ahead of his trip to Delhi, Amarinder Singh had held a meeting with the newly-constituted state Congress team and said that all key issues of concern raised by them were already in advanced stages of resolution by his government, which had been working on them in close coordination with the party.

The new leadership team, led by state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, had called on the Chief Minister and submitted a letter listing out some issues which they said needed urgent settlement.

Sidhu’s elevation came after several rounds of meetings that both Amarinder Singh and Sidhu had with the Congress president.

All of this comes months before Punjab heads into assembly elections. Elections are due for Punjab’s 117 assembly seats in the first half of next year.

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