Discussed Covid situation with party leaders, says Punjab CM

Chandigarh: Setting aside speculations over dissent within the government, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said he discussed the dynamically evolving Covid situation with some of his party colleagues and MLAs.

The Chief Minister had invited them for an informal lunch, during which discussions were held on the prevailing Covid crisis and the prolonged lockdown in the state.

In view of the social distancing norms and stringent Covid-related safety protocols in place, the Chief Minister’s office said Amarinder Singh had invited only a handful of party leaders and members, namely state party chief Sunil Jakhar, Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Randhawa and MLAs Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Pargat Singh and Sangat Singh Gilzian.

The leaders shared with the Chief Minister their suggestions on the Covid pandemic and the problems faced by the state due to the resultant lockdown.

Amarinder Singh welcomed the suggestions and said he would take them into account as the state moved towards more relaxations and revival of economy.

Discussions were held on the situation on the ground across districts, particularly in the context of the large number of people returning to Punjab from abroad and other states.

The party leaders congratulated the Chief Minister on the various steps taken to keep the spread of the pandemic under check, the smooth wheat procurement operations, the augmentation of health and testing infrastructure and the overall handling of the situation by the state government.

Expressing pleasure at meeting them, Amarinder Singh said, in a statement, that he was also happy to spend time with party leaders and members, whose opinion he valued in all critical matters.

He assured them of all possible measures by his government to minimise the impact of Covid, reiterating that his priority was to save lives.

At the same time, the state government was also striving to restore some normalcy to alleviate the sufferings of the people, he said.

The Chief Minister later said the party leaders had also raised the issue of the Chief Secretary and the alleged excise revenue losses, to which he responded that he was apprised of the issue and was personally looking into it.