Monday, 18 October 2021

Navjot Singh Sidhu next Punjab Congress chief

Navjot Singh Sidhu next Punjab Congress chief.

The decision came after the general secretary in charge of Punjab affairs. Harish Rawat met CM Singh in Chandigarh. After meeting, Rawat told the media that CM repeated his earlier stance that will abide by the decision of the Congress president.

Amid the developing tension within Punjab Congress and putting days of speculation to rest, former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed as
Chief of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee on Sunday.

Congress appointed four working presidents for the Punjab unit — Sangat Singh Gillian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel, and Kuljit Singh Nagra.

Jalalpur, convicted close to Patiala MP and Amarinder's wife Preneet Kaur, hosted Sidhu and workers.

Simultaneously, 11 MLAs on Sunday came out to support CM, whom they called the "tallest leader of masses," and appealed to the party's high command not to let his upsets.

Bajwa, a harsh critic of the chief minister, called on Amarinder Singh at his residence when Sidhu carried a series of meetings with the Punjab Congress president and various MLAs, includes the CM's loyal. Apart from Rajya Sabha member Bajwa, Punjab Assembly Speaker and Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi also met the chief minister.

When early indications came that Siddhu was appointed as Chief of Punjab Congress, sources close to Singh said he was unhappy and communicate to the high command in Delhi that he would not go for Assembly elections with Sidhu as PCC chief. Later, clarifications were released.

Navjot Singh Sidhu next Punjab Congress chief actiongetty image

Read more: Navjot Singh Sidhu Cannot be Deputy CM or State Party Chief

The seeds of conflicts between Amarinder and Sidhu rose back in 2017 when he joined Congress, and CM saw him as an upstart imposed on the state unit by Delhi high command. With tension growing between them, CM demolished Siddhu from his portfolio in 2019.

After putting down for a while, Sidhu scaled a new strike on Captain on April 13 this year when he said the government seen being soft on Badals in cases relating to violations of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 under the Akalis. The statement marked only the beginning of resume conflict between them, which has kept the political pot warm in the Punjab assembly ahead of next year's polls.

Sidhu had on Friday met chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence in the capital city. Former Congress presidents Harish Rawat and Rahul Gandhi were to present during meetings.

Rawat said
While Sidhu not yet spoke to the media after emerging from the meeting, Rawat said the AICC chief is yet to decide on the matter.

"I came here to submit my report on Punjab to AICC and take decision, I will come and shared it with you,"

Sources confidential to the developments in the meeting said that Sonia Gandhi had told Sidhu that he would be the next PPCC chief. She learned to ask him to return to the state. Those close to Sidhu said they expect an appointment letter, which "could be out anytime soon."

Sources told The Indian Express that CM had made it known that he was sad with the arrangement conveyed by the main office, and few leaders showed their worry that the state unit could break. Sidhu had reportedly gathered support from at least five Cabinet ministers and 10-15 MLAs.

Navjot Singh Sidhu's posting as state unit chief means there are now two Jat Sikhs on crucial posts — the other is Singh. The previous Party president of Punjab was Hindu.

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