Stalemate in Congress over; new announcements soon

By IndianMandarins- 16 Jul 2021


New Delhi (16.07.2021): Infighting in the election year in Punjab Congress could have marred state Congress’ chances in 2022 Assembly elections but stalemate is likely to get over with Captain Amarinder Singh continuing as the chief minister while Navjot Singh Sidhu will be made Punjab Congress chief.

In the compromise formula, Punjab Congress will have two working presidents. A formal announcement to this effect will be made soon. The Punjab chief minister had recently met with the Congress top brass amidst cries for a change of leadership by the Sidhu camp. The cricketer-turned-politician has been at loggerheads with chief minister Amarinder Singh and has gone public against him.

In a bid to present a united face, the Congress leadership is trying to revamp the Punjab unit of the Congress ahead of Assembly elections in Punjab early next year. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been meeting party leaders from Punjab for their views on the political situation and steps needed to strengthen the party ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls.

Sidhu had resigned from the Punjab Cabinet after he was divested of the local bodies portfolio in 2019 and was at loggerheads with the Chief Minister ever since. He made a scathing attack on the chief minister for alleged delay in justice in the 2015 incidents of sacrilege and subsequent police firing.

The chief minister had slammed Sidhu for continuously attacking him over the sacrilege issue and termed the former’s outbursts as total indiscipline. Earlier this month, Sidhu had appeared before a three-member panel set up by Congress to resolve the infighting within the party’s state unit.

On June 22, Singh appeared before the panel, headed by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, in Delhi. However, he returned to Chandigarh without an audience with party president Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. AICC general-secretary-in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former MP J P Aggarwal are members of the panel.

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