‘Uncovered the Truth’: Sidhu Meets Panel Amid Congress Punjab Feud
The committee is set to meet the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Delhi on Thursday.
Congress leader Navjot Sidhu on Tuesday, 1 June, met the three-member committee appointed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to look into party’s internal feud and said that he has conveyed the voice of people at the grassroots level to the high command.
Tensions have intensified in the Congress' Punjab unit over the past few weeks, as former state minister Sidhu on 18 May, censured Chief Minister Captain Amarinder 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.
What Is the Sacrilege Case?
In 2015, the police had reportedly taken strict action and fired at civilians protesting the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib – a religious text of Sikhs – at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura of Faridkot.
Two people were killed in the police firing at Behbal Kalan.
Subsequently, a one-man commission was set up by the Congress-led government in 2017 to investigate the incident of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and the police firing.
Congress Tries to Smooth Things Over
The recent outburst of animosity came after the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed an SIT report into the Kotkapura firing incident of 2015, following which Sidhu accused the CM of evading responsibility in the case and demanded action against the perpetrators.
On Monday, the Congress began its task of making peace within its faction-ridden Punjab unit, with the three-member committee meeting a number of ministers, MLAs and senior leaders.
The committee is comprised of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, party's general secretary in-charge for Punjab Harish Rawat and former MP Jai Prakash Aggarwal.
The Power of the People Must Return to the People
After a reportedly two-hour-long meeting, Sidhu was quoted as saying, “I came on the invitation of the high command. Whatever they asked me about the people of Punjab, I apprised them. I have come to make sure that the voice of the people of Punjab reaches the high command. I have come to convey their message,” according to The Indian Express.
He further said, “My stand is that the democratic power of people that goes to the government in the form of taxes should go back to the people, in whatever form. I came to tell the truth. The power of the people must return to the people.”
Sidhu added, “I have completely uncovered the truth. The truth may be oppressed but it cannot be defeated. So I have brought the truth of Punjab to the notice of the high command. We have to make the truth victorious and defeat every anti-Punjab force.”
Rawat was quoted as saying on Monday, that the MLAs had “high expectations from Amarinder Singh, hence the resentment”.
He added, “Our leaders told us they want to develop their constituencies. They were given some funds but now they need more. It’s like 'dil mange more (the heart wants more)'-type situation,” NDTV reported.
Rawat added that the committee would try to resolve some issues, including the lack of Dalit representation by possibly recommending appointing two Deputy Chief Ministers, one of whom will be from the Dalit community.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh released a press statement today morning saying that his government would “fulfil all poll promises before going to the people for blessings for the 2022 election”.
The committee is set to meet the chief minister in Delhi on Thursday.
(With inputs from NDTV and Indian Express)
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