Congress 'Stumped' After Navjot Singh Sidhu 'Retires Hurt'

Sidhu 'retired hurt', citing differences with the newly appointed 'Captain' of the team, Charanjit Singh Channi.

4 min read
Congress 'Stumped' After Navjot Singh Sidhu 'Retires Hurt'

All is not well in the 'Punjab Congress Team'. With the resignation of 'Coach' (Chief of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee) Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday, 28 September, the 'Team Top Management' (Congress High Command) was left stumped.

Sidhu 'retired hurt', citing differences with the newly appointed 'Captain' of the team, Charanjit Singh Channi (Chief Minister of Punjab), over decision-making in the team affairs.

What is ironic is just ten days back, Sidhu had played a major role in getting Channi instated as the 'Captain' of the team and also in the sacking of the 'Former Captain', Amarinder Singh.

'Coach' Sidhu Upset With New 'Captain' Channi

'Coach' Sidhu was upset with the changes made to the team by 'Naya 'Captain Channi (Rana Gurjit Singh's inclusion in the Cabinet, Home Ministry being assigned to political rival and Deputy Chief Minister SS Randhawa and the appointment of senior IPS officer Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, who was given additional charge as Punjab Police chief).

Sidhu had expected to have a say in the running of the 'Team' but found that the new 'Captain' had a few plans of his own. The 'Team Top Management' also seemed to be backing ‘Captain' Channi's choices.

Soon after 'Coach’ Sidhu's resignation, four other 'Team Members' [Razia Sultana, Yoginder Dhingra, Gautam Seth, Gulzar Inder Chahal] resigned as well, disturbing the balance of the 'Team'.

All this comes at a time when the finals of the Punjab State Championship (Punjab Elections) is just months away, with opponents Aam Aadmi Party and Sukhbir Singh Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal eyeing the top spot on the points table.

The 'Team Top Management' may now be thinking that their decision to make Sidhu the 'coach' of the 'Punjab Congress Team' was nothing short of a 'hit-wicket'.

New 'Captain' Charanjit Singh Channi has said he is willing to talk with the now-former 'Coach' Sidhu and is flexible and has no ego issues. But, he would, in a way, be delighted by the exit of 'Coach' Sidhu as it would grant him more decision-making power and say in team affairs, making him the new unchallenged 'Dada' of the team.


Delighted: 'Vice-Captain' Randhawa, Rival Team Skipper Badal, Former 'Captain' Amarinder

Sidhu's resignation would also favour the 'Vice-Captain' of the team, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa (Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab), who will also now have a more significant say in team affairs. Captain Channi has already allotted him more responsibility (Home Affairs). Even the team Treasurer, Manpreet Singh Badal (who has been awarded the Finance Ministry), is in the good books of the new 'Captain'.

One of the top competitors for the 'Championship', Shiromani Akali Dal's Sukhbir Singh Badal, took a verbal jab at Sidhu, calling him a misguided missile, which first destroyed the former 'Captain' by getting him ousted and then the whole team. AAP, the other strong contender, said Sidhu wasn't a team player and was selfish. However, Sidhu's sudden resignation would definitely favour these two rival teams, who are vying for top honours. SAD is a six-time champion, whereas AAP is aiming to win its first championship.

Amarinder Singh, who, having lost the confidence of his team members, was forced to quit, must be having a bitter-sweet feeling.

While the wound of losing the team's captaincy is still fresh, ‘Coach’ Sidhu's resignation must have worked as a much-needed balm to soothe the pain.

On Tuesday, the 'ex-Captain' vented on social media, and called the now-former 'Coach' unstable. Manish Tewari and Ravneet Bittu, both supporters of former 'captain' Amarinder Singh, would also be delighted with Sidhu's decision to quit. Both their names are now being considered as next 'Coach' of the Punjab team.

A Tarnished Reputation

Meanwhile, Sidhu's reputation as 'Coach' has surely been tarnished, he may now be seen as a troublemaker, which would make it hard for him to get new and important assignments. His sudden decision to resign, just days after the team got a new 'captain', who was yet to settle in at the helm, could be seen as selfish and unprofessional. The mayhem created by his announcement could also lead to him losing some of his loyalists.

The team's General Secretary Harish Rawat, who wanted to give up his position months back, but was convinced by the 'Team Top Management' to stay on, would also be disappointed as he had played a crucial role in getting Channi installed as the new 'Captain' and would have thought that normalcy would return soon to the team.

Biggest Loser 'Haarega'

The biggest loser would be the 'Team Top Management', who went against the former 'Captain' Amarinder Singh and put their faith in 'Coach' Sidhu, despite the latter having jumped ship from the BJP Team, and despite him expressing his unhappiness on various ‘Team affairs’ several times, even openly threatening to quit the 'Team'. In fact, 'Coach' Sidhu and former 'Captain', Amarinder Singh, had been feuding for the last year.

Despite all this, the Gandhi family, leaders of the 'Team Top Management', stood firmly behind Sidhu. So recent events show them in a poor light as they failed to read the situation.

For a team so divided in Punjab, the chances of winning the 'Championship' once again, in 2022, appear slim...unless they manage to get their house in order.



Punjab State Championship = Punjab Elections

Former Captain of the Punjab Congress Team = Amarinder Singh

(Former) Coach of the Punjab Congress Team = Navjot Singh Sidhu

Team Top Management = Congress High Command

New Captain of the Punjab Congress Team = Charanjit Singh Channi

Opponents: Aam Aadmi Party, Shiromani Akali Dal (Sukhbir Singh Badal)

Vice-Captain of the Punjab Congress Team = Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa

Supporters of Former 'Captain' = Manish Tewari, Ravneet Bittu

Treasurer = Manpreet Singh Badal

General Secretary = Harish Rawat

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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