Sidhu to Be Made Punjab Congress Chief, Amarinder Singh to Remain CM: Reports
If he is appointed the Punjab Congress chief, Navjot Singh Sidhu will replace Sunil Jakhar.
Amid a tussle within the Punjab Congress, Navjot Singh Sidhu is likely to be appointed as the chief of the state party unit, reports said on Thursday, 15 July.
Sidhu will replace Sunil Jakhar, India Today reported, adding that a formal announcement on this is expected soon.
However, late on Thursday, NDTV quoted sources as saying that Punjab CM Amarinder Singh is not convinced with Sidhu's elevation.
'Amarinder Singh and Sidhu Will Work Together'
Earlier, the Congress General Secretary in-charge of Punjab, Harish Rawat, told news agency ANI that Captain Amarinder Singh will remain the chief minister at least till the Assembly elections next year.
"Captain Amarinder Singh is our CM for the last four-and-a-half years and we will go to the elections with his leadership," Rawat said.
On being asked if Sidhu would be appointed chief, Rawat said that Singh and Sidhu will work together, adding that a formula has been made around this.
He also said that a formula has been made for the working presidents of the party. According to NDTV, these working presidents will be faces from the Dalit and Hindu communities.
Later on Thursday, Rawat also reportedly met Congress President Sonia Gandhi, but subsequently told the media that "nothing related to Punjab was discussed during the meeting."
Meanwhile, the media advisor to the CM, Raveen Thukral, rubbished reports of Singh resigning as "humbug". "He has neither quit nor offered to do so. He’ll lead Punjab Congress to victory in 2022 Assembly polls as he did in 2017," he was quoted as saying.
On 6 July, Captain Amarinder Singh met Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi at her residence amid efforts by the party high command to resolve the factionalism in the party’s state unit. The CM said that he would accept 'whatever decision is taken by the Congress high command'.
Days before that, Sidhu had met party leader Rahul Gandhi at his residence in Delhi on 30 June. This took place hours after Sidhu met party General-Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at her residence in Delhi.
Tensions had intensified in the Congress’ Punjab unit over the past few weeks, with Sidhu censuring 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'.
Further, from accusing a ‘system’ run by two families of ignoring Punjab’s welfare for their own business interests to stating that he isn’t a showpiece to be shelved after a good show in the elections, Sidhu’s recent interviews to multiple news outlets showed how the Amritsar-based leader had been disgruntled with the state leadership.
Meanwhile, ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls, Rahul Gandhi has been meeting party leaders from Punjab to review the political situation in the state in order to take steps to strengthen the party.
(With inputs from ANI, India Today, and NDTV.)
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