M A I N   N E W S

Amarinder wants Hanspal to continue
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today said he was in favour of “continuity” in the Punjab PCC as the government and the party had worked well “as a team” in the past three years.

The Chief Minister, who met Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday, said the “team” had won the byelections in the state with increasing margins. He said the Assembly elections in Punjab were due after nearly 22 months and he was not in favour of “turning the apple cart.”

“I have conveyed my views to the Congress president who will take the final decision,” he said.

The Chief Minister’s backing of incumbent PCC chief H.S. Hanspal has come at a time when the Congress central leadership is contemplating a change in the PCC leadership. Mr Hanspal has been at the helm of party affairs in the state for nearly three years and suggestions have been made for a change to give the party unit “a new look.” The Chief Minister, who enjoys a good rapport with the present PCC chief, apparently does not want criticism earlier from some MLAs for “slow pace” of development work in the state, appears keen to dispel such impression and deliver in terms of progress.

Apart from attracting investment in the state in the IT sector, the Chief Minister has made the case for assistance from the World Bank for projects related to road construction, sanitation and water supply.

Having tasted success in his policy of fostering goodwill between the two Punjabs and facilitating easier movement of devotees to Sikh shrines in Pakistan, the Chief Minister apparently hopes to cut into the Akali support base.

In felicitation functions to honour him for his role in promoting friendship between the two Punjabs, the Chief Minister has hit out at SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal for trying to deny him credit for “fruitful” results of his Pakistan visit, including release of Indian prisoners from jails.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |