Chandigarh / New Delhi:
In a major win for Navjot Singh Sidhu amid his revolt against Congress, his election, DS Patwalia, was named Punjab’s top government attorney after weeks of drama.
Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi signed a truce with Mr Sidhu earlier this month by accepting APS Deol’s resignation as Punjab’s Advocate General.
Two important appointments – that of Mr Deol and Iqbal Sahota as Police Director-General – had turned out to be a major focal point between the Prime Minister and Mr Sidhu, plunging the ruling party further into crisis after the dramatic departure of Amarinder Singh.
After resigning as President of the Punjab Congress, Navjot Singh Sidhu had withdrawn his resignation, but with an ultimatum – he said he would not reopen the charges unless Mr Deol was removed.
The 58-year-old cricketer-turned-politician had based his objections on the fact that both Mr Sahota and Mr Deol were linked to the 2015 Sacrilege case – a highly sensitive issue in Punjab.
Mr. Deol represented two accused police officers and Iqbal Sahota was the head of one of the SITs formed by the then Akali Dal government, which Mr. Sidhu accused of failing to bring justice.
With Mr. Sidhu by his side, Mr. Channi announced at a press conference on November 9th: “The Punjab Cabinet has accepted the resignation of Advocate General APS Deol.”
He also said a list of replacements for the post of director-general of the Punjab Police Department.
In response to the developments, Punjab Congress Chairman Sunil Jakhar said in a tweet: “The overthrow of a competent but ‘allegedly’ compromised official exposed a ‘really’ compromised CM.
— NDTV (@ndtv) 19. November 2021
“This raises a relevant question – whose government is it anyway?” asked Mr. Jakhar, who was among the front runners for the post of Prime Minister of Punjab after the resignation of Captain Amarinder Singh.
Senior congressional leader Manish Tewari said in a series of tweets that both of Punjab’s former lawyers became “punching bags in political proxy wars.”
“Those who undermine the institution of the AG office must remember that a lawyer is not engaged to a client or assignment,” tweeted Mr Tewari.