Congress’ Punjab headache seems far from over as Navjot Singh Sidhu has now reportedly put forth demand for the post of state party chief. According to sources within the party, Sidhu is keen to for Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief post. However, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is not ready for it.
Amarinder Singh is ready to accomodate Sidhu as deputy CM, but the Amritsar East MLA is not agreeing to the offer, sources added. Sidhu, who is eyeing the PCC chief post is not willing to join Singh’s cabinet again, after he quit it in 2019, following differences with the chief minister after his portfolio was changed.
Meanwhile, the Punjab CM appeared before the Congress commitee on Tuesday and raised strong objections over Sidhu’s recent remarks. Amarinder Singh told the AICC panel that the cricketer-turned-politician’s recent statements is affecting the party adversely. Sources said that both the committee and Rahul Gandhi are not happy with Sidhu’s ‘two families taking advantage in Punjab’ statement.
Singh and Sidhu have been at loggerheads for quite some time and have gone public against each other. The party leadership wants a united Congress ahead of assembly elections. A restructuring of the party and a possible cabinet reshuffle are also on the cards.
PCC head Sunil Jakhar could also be replaced if the leadership feels the state unit needs to be revamped. A different role for him will also have to be carved out.
The AICC panel headed by Mallikarjun Kharge, and with AICC general secretary in-charge Harish Rawat and former MP J P Aggarwal as its members, has already submitted its report to the Congress president, suggesting the election should be held under the charge of CM Singh, and Sidhu may be suitably accommodated.
(With inputs from PTI)