Barely a month into power, the “Kejriwal-controlled Punjab” charge has come back to haunt the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), with a united opposition kicking up a controversy over an alleged meeting of the state’s bureaucrats on Monday with the chief minister of Delhi.
From the Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party, leaders from opposition outfits flayed the AAP convener for reportedly meeting top officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) along with the state chief secretary and power secretary in the alleged absence of chief minister Bhagwant Mann.
The newly elected Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring took to Twitter not only to criticise Kejriwal for “summoning” Punjab officers but also the Centre’s interference in the state’s law and order in the context of the Punjab governor’s visits to border areas.
He maintained that since the CM was meeting the President, he should take up the issue with him. This is an exclusive state subject and it is the chief minister who should be touring border districts, the state Congress chief said.
He was followed by his predecessor Navjot Singh Sidhu, who also sought an explanation from the chief minister.
चलने दो आंधियाँ हकीकत की, न जाने कौन से झोंके से बहरूपियों के मुखौटे उड़ जाएं
Punjabs IAS officers summoned by @ArvindKejriwal in CM @BhagwantMann’s absence. This exposes the Defacto CM & Delhi remote control. Clear breach of federalism, insult to Punjabi pride. Both must clarify
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) April 12, 2022
The Shiromani Akali Dal asked the chief minister to safeguard the interests of Punjab and ensure it is not remote-controlled from Delhi.
The BJP too joined the chorus. Party national general secretary Tarun Chugh lambasted Kejriwal for “converting Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann into a rubber stamp chief minister”.