Projecting a united face just months ahead of the Assembly polls in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and once his bete noire Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday met at the former's residence near here in a cordial atmosphere and later shared their photos of 'close proximity'.
To ensure better coordination between the ruling party and the state government, and to further expedite the implementation of the government programmes and reform initiatives, the Chief Minister and state Congress president Sidhu on Friday agreed to set up a 10-member 'Strategic Policy Group', a spokesperson for the Chief Minister told IANS.
To be headed by the Chief Minister, the group will have Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Social Security Minister Aruna Chaudhary as members, along with Sidhu, the four party working presidents -- Kuljit Singh Nagra, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Sangat Singh Gilzian and Pawan Goel, besides Pargat Singh.
He said the decision was taken this morning when Sidhu, along with Nagra and Pargat, called on the Chief Minister to discuss Punjab related issues and steps to strengthen party-government coordination.
The group will hold weekly meetings, in consultation with other ministers, experts, etc., as may be required. It will discuss and review the progress of the various state government initiatives already under implementation, and will also suggest measures to expedite the same.
In another decision, Amarinder Singh has also assigned his Cabinet colleagues the task of being available in Punjab Congress Bhawan every day, by rotation, for meetings with MLAs and other party functionaries to discuss issues relating to their constituencies and areas and address any grievances.
One minister each will be available at the Congress Bhawan from Monday for three hours (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and in any case the minister deputed for a particular day is unable to make it for some reason, he/she shall arrange for a substitute in consultation with any other minister.
The arrangement will be in place five days in a week, from Monday to Friday, said the Chief Minister, adding that this will help in better coordination between his government and party functionaries in the run-up to the 2022 Assembly elections.