Several reports suggest that Navjot Singh Sidhu’s meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Thursday, two days after he resigned as Punjab Congress chief (PCC), might result in him staying to continue as the PCC and bring a stage of stability to the state’s Congress unit.
Sources told The Indian Express that the three hour meeting might have resolved the crisis with Sidhu and Channi having reached an agreement on cabinet appointments that Sidhu stood against.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Mustafa, principal advisor strategic advisor to Sidhu said, “everything has been resolved to the satisfaction of the three parties CM, PCC chief, and the AICC", Times of India reported.
Further, to take collective decisions and avoid “future misunderstandings, a panel comprising CM Channi, the PCC chief and AICC general secretary in-charge Harish Rawat will be set up.
“The resignation by Navjot Sidhu will now be rejected,” sources were quoted as saying.
The decision to leave the appointment of an Advocate General to the Congress high command was taken.
Further, hours after the meeting, the state government sent a panel of names to the UPSC for the post of the DGP.
Days after Sihdu’s rivalry with former CM Captain Amarinder Singh culminated into Captain's resignation, Sidhu resigned as the Punjab Congress chief saying, "The collapse of a man’s character stems from the compromise corner, I can never compromise on Punjab’s future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab.”
Sidhu reportedly resigned opposing the appointments of Amar Preet Singh Deol as Punjab's Advocate General and the promotion of Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota as the director general of Punjab police (DGP).
Sahota and Deol have been under the cloud over sacrilege cases of 2015, wherein the police had fired at civilians protesting the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura.
APS Deol has served as the personal lawyer of former DGP Sumedh Saini and IPS Pramraj Singh Umranangal, both accused in Behbal Kalan firing case. Sahota, on the other hand, had been head of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that had been set up to probe the sacrilege incidents and had been accused of going soft on the probe.
Before his meeting with Channi, Sidhu had said in a tweet, “DGP IPS Sahota was head of SIT investigating Beadbi case under Badal Govt, he wrongfully indicted two Sikh youth for sacrilege & gave clean chit to Badals. In 2018, I along with INC Ministers, then PCC Pres & present Home Minister assured them of our support in fight for Justice.”
Though party MLAs have said that Sidhu will stay, there has not been any official word so far, Times of India reported.
The council of ministers is set to meet on Monday, where CM Channi will likely announce some decisions on the party’s 18-point agenda.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and The Times of India)