Chandigarh | Jagran Politics Desk: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday spoke to Navjot Singh Sidhu and told him that the party is "supreme" as he invited the cricketer-turned-politician for talks to resolve differences over the cabinet expansion in the state ahead of next year's assembly elections.

"Whoever is party president, is head of the family. I had called him (Navjot Singh Sidhu) and told him that the party is supreme... I have spoken to him on phone and told him to let's sit, talk it out and resolve the issue," Channi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"Punjab government will pay the bills of 53 lakh families who cannot pay electricity bills. 75-80 per cent of consumers come under the 2 KW category...Their last bill will be taken care of, by us. The disconnected electricity connections will be reinstalled," he added.

Sidhu's sudden resignation has left the COngress baffled in Punjab as the Gandhis had heavily invested in him to win the upcoming assembly elections in the state. Following Sidhu's resignation, several Congress leaders, newly appointed cabinet minister Razia Sultana, also resigned in solidarity with the former India cricketer.

This even worsened the situation for Congress in Punjab after which Chief Minister Channi chaired the second meeting of the state cabinet in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Cabinet Ministers Bharahm Mahindra and Razia Sultana, who tendered their resignation in "solidarity" with Sidhu, didn't attend the cabinet meeting.

Ahead of the meeting, Punjab Minister Raj Kumar Verka said that the agenda for the day was to take "big decisions regarding electricity". "Sidhu should be with the Congress part and work together. We will resolve the matter in the cabinet meeting today," he was quoted as saying by ANI.

The assembly elections in Punjab are slated to take place in Punjab in February or March next year. In the previous elections, the Congress had returned to power in Punjab, ending the 10-year Akali Dal-BJP rule in the state.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma