Amritsar: Amid speculation about Navjot Singh Sidhu taking over the position of Punjab Congress Chief in the party, over 10 Congress MLAs have issued a statement that Capt Amarinder Singh is only their leader. They have also called Sidhu a ‘joker’ and reports suggest that the leaders will suggest to take more time from the Congress high command before announcing the new state chief.
While Sidhu is waiting for his position to be elevated and has been seen meeting over 30 MLAs in the past two days, having luncheon with many, reflecting his strength which declared a silent but open challenge against Amarinder Singh.
However, Punjab’s Captain is also not far behind as the leader brought a twist to the party’s crisis after having a meeting with Pratap Singh Bajwa ending the long battle between the two and adding to the misery of the party high command in choosing the chief of state Congress Committee.
While sources have confirmed that Sonia Gandhi has already made a decision and Sidhu will be elected as Punjab Congress Committee chief sooner or later, it still looks like a difficult road for Sidhu as MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will meet at Bajwa’s residence in Delhi on Sunday and then ask for time from Sonia Gandhi to advise her against appointing Sidhu.
The 10 Congress MLAs have urged the high command not to let down Captain Amarinder Singh “due to whose unrelenting efforts the party stands well entrenched in Punjab”.
In a joint statement issued by Khaira, who recently joined Congress from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), said there was no doubt that the appointment of state PCC chief is high command’s decision but acknowledging the rift in public and Sidhu using derogatory statements against the Punjab CM have just maligned the image of Punjab Congress.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met Congress state in-charge, Harish Rawat, on Saturday and reportedly told him that he won’t meet Sidhu until the latter apologises for his ‘derogatory’ tweets.
Amarinder Singh had said he would accept any decision taken by interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi, calling the meeting fruitful and added that Rawat will take up the issues raised by him to Sonia Gandhi.
However, a senior Congress leader cited by news agency IANS said that CM Amarinder Singh remained adamant as he is reportedly upset with Sidhu for targeting his government over the power crisis and the sacrilege issue. He is said to have categorically told Rawat that there would be no rapprochement between the two until Sidhu apologises in public for his “derogatory tweets and interviews”.
On Friday, Capt Amarinder Singh had written to interim president Sonia Gandhi, raising concerns of Congress Punjab unit seeing split if Sidhu is given charge as president.
In his letter, the Chief Minister had stated that he would not contest election under Sidhu if he is elevated to the top organisational post in the state.