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Bhattal made Punjab's deputy CM

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | January 06, 2004 16:27 IST
Last Updated: January 06, 2004 19:24 IST

The dissidents in Punjab on Tuesday reached a compromise with the rival Captain Amarinder Singh group.

While Amarinder will continue to be the chief minister, dissident leader, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, has been appointed his deputy.

Bhattal had demanded Amarinder's removal citing his 'autocratic style of functioning.'

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Congress general secretary in charge of Punjab, Mohsina Kidwai, said Amarinder will soon expand his cabinet.

Blocking questions about the differences between Amarinder and Bhattal and how these were sorted out, Kidwai said: "It is a closed chapter which does not merit any further comment."

Jaipal Reddy, who headed the panel set up to sort out the mess in Punjab, clarified that  "it was a [compromise]  formula evolved in the specific context of Punjab."

He obviously didn't want Congress dissidents in Kerala and Gujarat to get ideas.

In Kerala, Chief Minister A K Antony has been battling against dissidents led by veteran leader K Karunakaran, while in Gujarat Amarsinh Chaudhary has raised the banner of revolt against Pradesh Congress Committee chief Shankarsinh Vaghela.


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