New Delhi, August 10
A day after senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal hosted dinner for leaders cutting across party lines, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday held a similar event for party MPs and leaders from Punjab.
Those present at Amarinder Singh’s dinner include former Union Minister Manish Tewari, who is part of ‘G-23’ bloc of party leaders who have sought wide-ranging reforms in the Congress, former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, MPs Santokh Chaudhry, and Preneet Kaur (the Chief Minister’s wife), and few ministers from Punjab.
However, Rajya Sabha members Pratap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo were not present as both are considered from the opposite camp.
On the significance of the dinner, party sources say that Amarinder Singh is trying to fortify himself ahead of crucial state elections and muster support for himself.
The dinner came hours after Amarinder Singh met party interim chief Sonia Gandhi, in their first meeting after Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed the Congress chief in Punjab despite the Chief Minister’s opposition.
Their meeting lasted an hour, and sources said the two leaders discussed the Assembly elections scheduled next year, besides talking about a minor reshuffle in the state cabinet.
The Punjab Chief Minister then met Union Home Minister Amit Shah, from whom he demanded more Central forces be deployed in the state ahead of Independence Day.