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Kejriwal holds meeting in Delhi with top Punjab officials while CM is not present, accused of ‘remote controlling state

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann

The month-old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab has come under sharp attack from the opposition over party convenor Arvind Kejriwal's holding a meeting with the Punjab Chief Secretary, Power Secretary, and chairman of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) in Delhi on Monday without the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.

Congress Legislature Party leader Partap Singh Bajwa slammed AAP saying the people of Punjab did not vote for a government to be "remote-controlled" from Delhi.

Bajwa tweeted, "Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann…should inform us if Delhi CM and ministers have indeed been meeting with our officers in the absence of Punjab CM and ministers. If so this is a terrible violation of our rights as a state."

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal dubbed Kejriwal's meeting as "unconstitutional and unacceptable". He accused the government in Delhi of interfering in matters of Punjab.

Daljit Cheema, Akali Dal spokesman said, "we have heard a lot about Delhi as Union Govt. interfering into the internal affairs of the states but it is for the first time that we are seeing Delhi as a state government directly interfering in the affairs of the Punjab government."

Former Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh termed Bhagwant Mann a "rubber stamp." He tweeted, "Worst was feared, worst happened…Arvind Kejriwal has taken over Punjab much before it was expected."

Taking a dig at the AAP government Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring asked whether state officers will henceforth have to be present in Kejriwal's 'darbar'.

Former PPCC Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said it is a "breach of federalism." He added, "this exposes the de facto CM and Delhi remote control. It is an insult to Punjabi pride," he said in his tweet.

AAP spokesman in Punjab Malwinder Singh Kang said in defense, "People come from far and wide to see the Kejriwal model of governance. If he has held an informal meeting with officials of Punjab for the benefit of the state, then it should be welcomed."