'My Journey Has Just Begun': Sidhu After Elevation to Punjab Congress Chief

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu was on Sunday, 18 July, appointed the chief of the party's Punjab unit.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has been appointed the chief of the party's Punjab unit amid tussle with chief minister Amarinder Singh.</p></div>

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu was on Sunday, 18 July, appointed the chief of the party's Punjab unit amid a tussle with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Reacting to his elevation, Sidhu took to Twitter on Monday, 19 July, to thank party leaders Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, stating he was grateful to them for bestowing their faith in him and giving him "this pivotal responsibility".

He said that he would work alongside every member of the Congress party in Punjab to fulfil the mission to "give power of the people back to the people".

"My journey has just begun," he added.

Sidhu also appeared to take a swipe at Amarinder Singh in his tweet where he spoke about his father “leaving a royal household” to join the freedom struggle.

Amarinder Singh’s father was the ruler of the former princely state of Patiala, reported NDTV.

Sidhu's appointment comes after days of infighting in the Punjab Congress with the Congress' central leadership trying to resolve the crisis by holding several meetings with the warring factions.

'My Journey Has Just Begun': Sidhu After Elevation to Punjab Congress Chief

(Photo: The Quint)

Other than Sidhu, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi also appointed Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel and Kuljit Singh Nagra as the working presidents of the Punjab Congress unit.

Reacting to Sidhu's appointment, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the party high command "must have taken a thoughtful decision".

"He is young and was an active parliamentarian. He has the zeal to work so we welcome it," Kharge said, according to news agency ANI.

"What High Command decided is 100 percent right. No one's upset, everything will be alright," Congress MLA Nirmal Singh Shutrana told ANI.

After his appointment, Sidhu also visited Punjab Minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa at his residence in Chandigarh, where they and other leaders of the party posed for a group photo, reported ANI.

"High-tea was arranged by Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa to welcome new PCC chief Sidhu. Party is united, we have a huge responsibility, people had given us 2/3rd majority in 2017. It's our duty to further strengthen the trust," reported ANI, quoting Ex-Punjab Congress Chief Sunil Jakhar.

The decision came on the day Singh was quoted as saying that "any decision taken by Congress President Sonia Gandhi will be acceptable to all," with NDTV reporting that he had placed certain caveats to his appointment.

Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat had met Singh on Saturday, following which the former had 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.(sic)"

Sidhu and Rawat had met Sonia Gandhi on Friday at her residence.


Singh vs Sidhu: What's Going on in the Background?

Tensions had intensified in the Congress’ Punjab unit over the past few weeks, with Sidhu censuring Singh, alleging that his colleagues were being threatened for raising questions on the state government’s handling of the ‘sacrilege’ case and for 'speaking the truth on the matter'.

Singh, on Saturday, had met state in-charge Harish Rawat in Punjab and said the meeting was fruitful but he would take up issues that he raised with party President Sonia Gandhi. According to IANS, Singh told Rawat that he won't meet Sidhu until he apologises for his 'derogatory' tweets.

Reiterating that any decision of Gandhi would be acceptable but said he raised certain issues which Rawat said he would take up with her. The meeting between them lasted for over an hour.

A day earlier the Chief Minister wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and warned that the party would split if Sidhu is given charge of the state Congress.

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