Punjab Congress MPs to meet top leaders opposing Sidhu's elevation
In a fresh bid to oppose the elevation of Navjot Singh Sidhu as Congress Punjab unit chief, party MPs from the state will meet Congress' top leaders in Delhi on Sunday. The MPs will reportedly urge Congress' central leadership not to appoint Sidhu as state unit chief. It comes a day after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reportedly agreed to Sidhu's elevation.
Reportedly, Congress old-timers, who consider Sidhu a "BJP reject," are upset with Sidhu's likely appointment and want to express their resentment to party leaders in the national capital. The meeting indicates clearly that the power tussle between Singh and Sidhu seems to be reaching no conclusion, endangering the party's prospects in the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections.
This development comes amid reports of the Punjab CM's agreement on the Congress high command's plan to appoint his bête noire Sidhu as state party chief. However, Singh continued to demand a public apology from Sidhu for his tweets against him. Singh also demanded that he be given a free hand in reshuffling his cabinet and in the appointment of working presidents under Sidhu.
Reiterating that the party leadership should involve him in key decisions ahead of the elections, Amarinder Singh reportedly said Sidhu's appointment should complement his efforts in helping the party come back to power. Congress' Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat, who took a chopper to meet Singh on Saturday, tweeted after the meeting that Singh had agreed to accept any decision taken by the party chief.
Meanwhile, Sidhu had met several key Congress leaders in Punjab Saturday, including Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Sunil Jakhar. Sidhu also met Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and senior party leader Lal Singh (considered close to the Punjab CM). He also met Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and MLAs Barindermeet Singh Pahra, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Kulbir Singh Zira, and Davinder Singh Ghubaya.
Congress' central leadership has been trying to find a resolution in Punjab where the party is facing massive infighting. The party in the state is now divided into two camps: CM Singh's followers and those loyal to Sidhu. In recent weeks, Gandhis have held meetings with both the leaders separately in an attempt to find a truce formula between the two camps.