Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 26
Expressing displeasure at the Congress high command’s decision to deny them a Cabinet berth, two senior party leaders and former Cabinet ministers Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Balbir Singh Sidhu in an emotional outburst today said they had been subjected to “gross injustice” despite giving their best performances as ministers.
Paid price for loyalty to Capt
I have had to pay the price for loyalty towards Capt Amarinder. It is not fair as every soldier has to be loyal to his commander. — Gurpreet Singh Kangar, Ex-Minister
No way to treat party workers
This is not the way to treat committed party workers like us who have given the best of their life to serving the cause of the party. — Balbir Singh Sidhu, Former Minister
Regional balance ‘disturbed’
Faridkot MLA Kikki Dhillon said regional balance had been disturbed in the Cabinet expansion. Despite having seven districts in western Malwa, only one minister, Raja Warring, had been inducted. Earlier there were two ministers — Rana Gurmit Sodhi and Gurpreet Kangar — from the region.
The two former ministers have written to the high command to express their displeasure at being left out of the Punjab Cabinet, which was sworn in today. They have asked for the reasons prompting the high command to ignore them, while asserting they stood by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
“We supported former CM Capt Amarinder Singh, as advised by the high command. Now we will work along with the new CM as per the instructions of the party high command,” they said, while addressing mediapersons ahead of the oath-taking ceremony. “Had the high command asked for our resignations, we would have resigned on our own. What has been done is quite embarrassing and humiliating,” said Kangar, adding his loyalty towards Captain Amarinder had cost him dear, “which is not fair as every soldier has to be loyal to his commander”.
“Now, as a Congress soldier, I owe my allegiance to present Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. But if the loyalty to the party causes the kind of outcome that has happened in my case in the Congress, then it is really sad. The high command should answer why I have been ignored despite so many achievements. I was responsible as the Revenue Minister for computerising land records,” said Kangar.
Listing his achievements as the Health Minister, Sidhu, who almost broke down, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, I ensured health systems work efficiently. I worked day in and day out to ensure people of the state did not face problems. In the past years, we streamlined health infra at the grassroots level. This is not the way to treat committed party workers like us who have given the best of their life to serving the cause of the party.”
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