Tuesday, August 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

CM meets Sonia on Bhattal issue
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today met Congress President Sonia Gandhi amid discussions on the embezzlement case faced by state Agriculture Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, which is likely to come up for hearing next week.

AICC General Secretary Mohsina Kidwai, who is in charge of Punjab, was also present at the meeting which lasted for about 30 minutes. Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee chief H.S. Hanspal later met Ms Kidwai and the issue was believed to have figured at the meeting.

Ms Bhattal will arrive in the Capital tomorrow and is likely to meet senior party leaders on the issue. Sources said the Congress leaders were looking at the implications of Ms Bhattal having to leave the Cabinet in case charges were framed against her in the court.

The Central leadership has been told by the state Congress leaders that six MLAs were in touch with Ms Bhattal.

PPCC leaders have also conveyed to the party high command that the Congress government in the state cannot take a lenient view on the issue of alleged corruption by its own ministers and MLAs in the wake of the high-profile anti-corruption drive launched by Capt Amarinder Singh. The sources said the Chief Minister also apprised the Congress President of the fiscal reforms initiated by his government.

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