Thursday, 7 July, 2022
HomeIndiaSonia Gandhi appoints Navjot Sidhu, CM Amarinder Singh's detractor, Punjab Congress president

Sonia Gandhi appoints Navjot Sidhu, CM Amarinder Singh’s detractor, Punjab Congress president

The announcement of Sidhu's appointment came Sunday, even as those in the opposition camp were gathering support against his possible elevation.

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New Delhi: Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Sunday.

The appointment came after almost a month of turmoil and infighting in the state Congress unit, with Sidhu leading a charge against Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, over “unfulfilled promises” by the government.

Singh had also made clear his displeasure at the possible appointment of Sidhu to the position of Punjab Congress chief.

The party also announced the appointment of four working presidents, including Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel and Kuljit Singh Nagra for the Punjab unit.

Sidhu’s appointment comes after weeks of meetings between the central leadership and the two leaders – Sidhu and Amarinder Singh – who both met the central leadership separately.

Earlier on Sunday – with the possibility of Sidhu’s appointment already being apprehended by many in the party – Sidhu met various party MLAs in Patiala, while Pratap Singh Bajwa, who on Saturday evening had met CM Singh, organised meetings Sunday of all Punjab Congress MPs in Delhi, to gather support to pushback against Sidhu’s elevation.

On Friday, Sidhu had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi, indicating his possible appointment as PCC chief.

On that very day, however, Singh had written a letter to Gandhi expressing his opposition to Sidhu becoming the Punjab Congress chief. CM Singh and his camp in the Punjab state unit have maintained that the PCC chief should be a Hindu, in order to not alienate the Hindu community of the state. Both Sidhu and CM Singh are Jat Sikhs.

On Saturday, Congress’ Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat had also met with CM Singh, to try and placate his apprehensions. “The CM reiterated his earlier stand that he will go with the Congress President’s decision. This is a huge thing in the Congress,” Rawat had said after the meeting.

Also read: Sonia Gandhi reconstitutes Congress parliamentary groups, Tewari & Tharoor among additions

Sidhu vs CM

The tussle between the two leaders started when Sidhu began publicly speaking against CM Singh, alleging that he had failed to deliver on his promises to the people.

Sidhu has alleged that the Amarinder Singh-led government hasn’t acted against the drug racketeers or the sand and transport mafia, allegedly operating in the state. He has also accused Singh of failing to provide free power and electricity to urban households, or scrap the “wrongful” power purchase agreements.

But, perhaps the most important issue is that of the Bargari sacrilege case of 2015. Sidhu has accused the CM of being “weak” on the case, and not presenting the special investigation team’s findings clearly.

Also read: Why Priyanka Gandhi is meeting SP workers, & what it could mean for Congress ahead of 2022 polls


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