On Navjot Sidhu’s Possible Promotion, Captain Writes To Sonia Gandhi: 10 Points


Navjot Sidhu met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi. (File)

Highlights

  • Amarinder Singh is believed to be resistant to Navjot Sidhu’s promotion
  • On Thursday, tensions peaked after reports of Mr Sidhu’s promotion
  • Navjot Singh Sidhu met with Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi in Delhi today

New Delhi:
Navjot Singh Sidhu met with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi today in Delhi a day after a dramatic escalation in his feud with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. The rivals held meetings till late last night with their supporters.

Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

  1. A compromise that reportedly involves Navjot Sidhu’s elevation as Punjab Congress chief has yet to be accepted by all concerned. Sources say Amarinder Singh is not on board with the plan. He has written to Sonia Gandhi expressing his reservations, say sources.

  2. Hours after Mr Sidhu’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, his supporters organised “celebrations” in Chandigarh, though any formal announcement by the Congress was still to come.

  3. Congress’s Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat, who was at the meeting, told reporters later that he had “never said” Navjot Sidhu would be Punjab Congress chief. His comments yesterday on a compromise had set off talk about Mr Sidhu’s promotion and a shake-up in the Punjab cabinet.

  4. “I have submitted my note. I believe Congress president will take her time and come to a decision soon,” Mr Rawat said. On Mr Singh possibly objecting to the reported peace plan, he replied: “If there is any communication gap, I am here to take care of it.”

  5. According to the plan, Mr Sidhu will take over as Punjab Congress president with two working presidents, “one from the Dalit community and the other a Hindu face”.

  6. Tensions peaked on Thursday over the rumoured changes. By 9 pm, both Amarinder Singh and Mr Sidhu had rounded up MLAs and ministers on their side and gone into separate meetings.

  7. Mr Sidhu held a meeting with six MLAs, including three ministers – Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Charanjit Singh Channi and Tript Rajinder Bajwa – who have openly rebelled against Mr Singh. Sources said the ministers feared sacking in the anticipated cabinet changes.

  8. On the other hand, the Chief Minister went into a huddle with party MLAs and MPs supporting him at his private farmhouse in Mohali.

  9. Mr Singh had met Sonia Gandhi last week, after which he said he would accept “whatever decision is taken by the Congress high command”.

  10. The rift between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu, festering since the Congress won the Punjab election in 2017, has endangered the party’s re-election bid next year.

  11. Mr Sidhu, who quit the BJP and joined the Congress just before the 2017 election, has been fighting for a bigger slice of power but Mr Singh has resisted it.



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