Amarinder Accepts Sidhu Elevation As Punjab Cong Prez, With Caveats: Reports
The meeting came two days after reports said that Sidhu is likely to be appointed as Punjab Congress chief.
Amid speculation and the row over appointment of the next Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that "any decision taken by Congress President Sonia Gandhi will be acceptable to all", indicating that he is okay with the elevation of Navjyot Singh Sidhu to the post.
However, the 79-year-old veteran politician has placed certain caveats to this appointment, reported NDTV.
The development came after senior Congress leader Harish Rawat met Singh, amid reports that Navjot Singh Sidhu is likely to be appointed as the Punjab Congress chief, replacing Sunil Jakhar.
After the meeting, Rawat tweeted, "I am happy that many things, which are being discussed outside have been proven to be completely baseless and Captain Sahib has reiterated his important statement to the honourable Congress President that whatever decision will be taken regarding the post of President regarding Punjab, he will respect it."
What Are The Caveats?
Reports suggest that Rawat met Singh to inform him of the high command's decision of appointing Sidhu as president.
The latter is said to have expressed his unhappiness on how the high command handled the appointment of the PCC president. He said that premature announcements were made and stories were “leaked", reported The Indian Express.
Singh reportedly told Rawat said that he should be involved by the party leadership while taking important decisions and that Sidhu's appointment should complement his efforts in helping the party come back to power in the next year's elections, reported NDTV.
He also demanded that he be given a free hand in reshuffling his cabinet and appointing working presidents under Sidhu, said the report.
Both NDTV and The Indian Express reported that Singh, when asked by Rawat to publicly meet Sidhu, said that he will not do so until the probable president apologises publicly for his tweets.
Earlier in May, Sidhu had issued multiple tweets attacking the Chief Minister.
“We both are old friends. I am fortunate that I am the general secretary in charge of such a state having Captain Sahib as the Chief Minister. We had a wonderful discussion. He had some concerns. Unke meri samajh se oonche kuch sawal the. (He had some questions which are beyond my comprehension) But one thing is clear from the statement that Captain sahib had given earlier that he will abide by the CP’s decision. He repeated that statement today also", The Indian Express quoted Rawat as saying after the meet.
”Had a fruitful meeting with Harish Rawat. Reiterated that any decision of INC president will be acceptable to all. Raised certain issues which he said he’ll take up with the INC president," Raveen Thukral, Media Advisor to Punjab chief minister, told media.
Sources told ANI that the Punjab Congress crisis is likely to be 'resolved soon' and that four working presidents will be appointed along with Sidhu.
Meanwhile, Sidhu, the face of the revolt against CM Singh, met Jakhar at the latter's residence in Panchkula.
Sharing photos of the meeting in a tweet, Sidhu wrote, "Seeking guidance of Presidents of the illustrious Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee… Conversations with wise men, worth months of Education (sic)!!"
Singh Writes to Sonia Gandhi?
Singh has written to Sonia Gandhi, reports said on Friday, 16 July, amid continuing tussle in the party's state unit.
Late on Thursday, 15 July, NDTV quoted sources as saying that the Punjab CM is 'unhappy' with Sidhu's likely elevation.
The tussle comes ahead of the Assembly elections in the state, scheduled for early next year, and may hurt the party, which is seeking re-election after its win in 2017.
(With inputs from ANI, NDTV)
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