Punjab CM Amarinder Singh relents, Navjot Sidhu may be made Congress chief: Sources


New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday agreed to accept any decision taken by the Congress high command as talks of Navjot Singh Sidhu’s being made party chief gathered momentum. Singh’s statement cames hours after his meeting with AICC general secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat, who flew down to Chandigarh in an effort to placate the chief minister.

Though sources told PTI that Amarinder Singh alleged that he will not meet Sidhu till the latter publicly regrets or apologises for his tweets against him. 

After his meeting with Amarinder, Rawat told reporters: “One thing is very clear… Captain Amarinder Singh ji who had earlier made a ‘mahan’ (great) statement that that whatever decision will be taken by the Congress president will be honoured by him reiterated that statement today.”

Rawat had maintained that the central leadership is working out a peace formula where both leaders could work together to help the party win the Punjab Assembly polls due in 2022.

On Friday, Amarinder Singh wrote a letter to Congress party’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi saying that giving the post of state party president to Sidhu, a Jat Sikh, would upset senior leaders representing the Hindu community and harm the Congress’ prospects in the 2022 assembly elections.

Meanwhile, the cricketer-turned-politician held a series of meetings through the day with Punjab Pradesh Congress President Sunil Jakhar as well as several MLAs fuelling further speculation to the Sidhu-Amarinder feud.

Sindhu’s meet with Jakhar lasted more than half-an-hour, Sidhu said the PPCC chief is his elder brother and a guiding force. Jakhar, in turn, described Sidhu as a capable man. After meeting Jakhar, Sidhu met other party leaders, including some ministers, in Chandigarh.

Suspense has been building up over the much-awaited announcement from the party high command on the resolution of the festering feud in the Punjab Congress. It has been speculated that Sidhu may be declared as head of state unit with four working presidents, sources close to 10 Janpath told ANI. 

There are talks of appointing two working presidents — a Dalit and a Hindu face to balance the caste equations. The names of minister Vijay Inder Singla and MP Santokh Chaudhary were doing the rounds for the post of working presidents, as per a PTI report.

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