Punjab Diary

Charanjit Singh Channi: New CM, old photo

Charanjit Singh Channi: New CM, old photo

Seeing the picture of a much younger Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on most political hoardings put up by local leaders in the city these days, it is hard for people to believe his son got married on Sunday.

Amritsar: Seeing the picture of a much younger Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on most political hoardings put up by local leaders in the city these days, it is hard for people to believe his son got married on Sunday. Born in 1963, the 58-year-old looks strikingly different in the ones appearing in the media. The same picture has been used on the official website of the Punjab Government. By doing this, party leaders and even officials are apparently trying to send across the message that the new CM is youthful. However, for many among the public, the pictures of an aged, experienced and mature CM may be more appealing.

Elusive parliamentarian

Pathankot: It has been ages since MP Sunny Deol was last seen in his constituency. Congress councillor Nitin Laddi Mahajan hit the nail right on the head when he claimed the MP’s absence was proving to be an impediment in city’s development. “I recently wrote to the Railways requesting them to convert the biweekly Jammu-Katra Vande Bharat Express into a weekly feature. If that happens, the tourism industry will get a boost. But, the Railways asked me to route my request through the MP. And here lies the problem. Where should I go to find Mr Deol?” he quipped. The MP was last reported in Mumbai after his return from the US, where he had gone for treatment.

Banner war

Fategarh Sahib: The emergence of Charanjit Singh Channi as Chief Minister has upset the applecart of Bassi Pathana MLA Gurpreet Singh GP, as CM’s brother Dr Manohar Singh is going all out to reach out to people ahead of the Assembly elections. There is a virtual flex board war between the two. The sitting MLA has resented the growing clout of the new entrant and feels it has created a confusion, particularly among Congress supporters and may endanger the party’s prospects. He plans to bring it to the notice of party high command and CM so as to nip trouble in the bud.

Shifting loyalties

Sangrur: Several Congress leaders had stopped visiting Cabinet minister Vijay Inder Singla’s local office after Capt Amarinder Singh quit as CM along with his ministers, thinking it was the end of the road for Singla. Once he was re-inducted into the Cabinet with the same PWD portfolio, the leaders were seen rejoicing, inviting criticism from locals, who call them “chameleons”. There are others who feel it is nothing new as they have been shifting loyalties each time there is a change of guard. Feeling aggrieved, some hard-working Congress leaders have decided to ask Singla to choose between them and “chameleons”.

Realpolitik

Bathinda: The SAD recently held a protest rally over the pink bollworm attack on the cotton crop in the southern Malwa region of the state. Even party patron Parkash Singh Badal, who has stayed away from political events in the recent past, addressed the rally. Instead of focusing on crop damage, most speakers, including Sukhbir Singh Badal and Harsimrat Kaur, chose to use the stage to attack the Congress and list achievements of the previous SAD government in the state. Most of those who attended the rally were left guessing whether it was a protest or political rally.

Contributed by Ravi Dhaliwal, Surinder Bhardwaj, Parvesh Sharma, Manmeet Singh Gill & Sukhmeet Bhasin

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