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Let's sit and talk: Channi's offer to Sidhu


New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday reached out to a miffed Navjot Singh Sidhu and offered to resolve issues through talks, a day after the former cricketer resigned as the state Congress chief.

Channi also said the party is supreme and the government follows the party's ideology.

Sidhu had abruptly put in his papers on Tuesday, plunging the Congress into a fresh crisis in the state, which saw a bitter power tussle involving Sidhu and former CM Amarinder Singh.

The cricketer-turned-politician on Wednesday broke his silence on his resignation, raising questions over appointments of the director general of police, state's advocate general and 'tainted' leaders.

Talking to reporters in Chandigarh on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting, Channi said, 'The (state) president is a head of the party. The head is to sit in the family (party).'

'I have spoken to Sidhu sahab over the telephone today. Party is supreme and the government accepts the party's ideology and follows that. (I told him that) you should come, sit and talk,' he said.

'If you (Sidhu) feel there is anything wrong, you can point it out,' he said.

When asked what was Sidhu's response, Channi said Sidhu told him that he would sit and talk, and would give him time for a meeting.

To a question, Channi said Pargat Singh and some other leaders went to meet Sidhu.

Asked if this is not an attempt to cause damage to the government, he said there is no such thing.

He said, 'We will sit with him and talk.'

Asked if Sidhu had done the right thing, Channi said he could not comment on it.

'I will never deviate from the issues of the people of Punjab,' he said.

Channi said the government would set up a team under a special prosecutor for fighting cases in courts.

'We are setting up a team of a special prosecutor and 10 members and it will handle our (state government) important cases,' he said.

'A special team will be appointed. Therefore, there should not be any doubt on me by the people. Everything will be transparent,' he further said.

He said, 'Whatever feedback we got from colleagues and others and whosoever can be appointed, we appointed. But the decisions will be taken according to the people of Punjab.'

'I have no objection or any ego in anything. I am very clear. If anything sends wrong message to the people, I will not be rigid on it,' he said in an apparent reference to recent appointments.

He further said he would never step back on the issues on which he had been fighting for, apparently referring to issues like delivery of justice in the 2015 desecration cases.