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Sidhu’s adviser resigns; Punjab Cong prez says he can’t be dummy chief

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Chandigarh, Aug 27: Punjab Congress President Navjot Sidhu’s controversial adviser Malwinder Mali resigned on Friday, a day after AICC general secretary Harish Rawat asked for the advisers’ resignations saying their stands were unacceptable to the Congress.

Interestingly, the resignation comes in the wake of Sidhu telling the party High Command that, “I can’t be dummy chief”.

Reacting to Sidhu’s assertion, Rawat said, “Who says he is.”

Speaking at a party function in Amritsar city, Sidhu said “if he is allowed to work according to his own policy of hope and faith, he will ensure Congress rule in the state for 20 years”.

“But if you don’t allow me to take decisions, then I can’t help anything,” Sidhu said without mincing words.

Speaking about the Punjab model Sidhu said, “Punjab model means people make policies for trade, industry and power. Giving power of people back to the people.”

The power struggle between Sidhu and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is on as the latter’s confidante and Cabinet minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi hosted a dinner at his residence here on Thursday.

A total of 58 MLAs and eight MPs attended the dinner and expressed their confidence that the party would win the 2022 polls under the leadership of Amarinder Singh.

“The journey has started today,” Sodhi informed in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Sidhu’s advisor Mali in a statement after his resignation said, “Anti-Sikh forces that can’t tolerate the emerging Punjab model, issue-based and solution-based politics of transparency and accountability, which has dawned in the backdrop of the long-drawn peaceful ‘kisan andolan’, have a nefarious design to derail the dialogue process that has started taking shape.”

He alleged a hateful campaign had been launched against him by political leaders — Amarinder Singh, Vijay Inder Singla, Manish Tiwari (Congress); Sukhbir Badal, Bikram Majithia (Akali Dal); BJP secretary Subhash Sharma and Raghav Chadda of the AAP.

Mali said these politicians would be responsible if any harm comes to him.

Mali had triggered a controversy over his provocative social media post on Kashmir.

Taking strong exception to the patently anti-national and pro-Pak comments of two of Sidhu’s aides, a group of Punjab Congress ministers and MLA had called for strong action under the law against Mali and Pyare Lal Garg.

The statements of both these newly appointed advisors of Sidhu were clearly against India’s interests, and detrimental to national security, said ministers Brahm Mohindra, Vijay Inder Singla, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Balbir Singh Sidhu and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, along with MLA Raj Kumar Verka.

Besides stringent legal action against them, they had also urged the Congress national leadership to direct Sidhu to immediately rein in his aides in the interest of the party as well as the country.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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