Do not rock the boat ahead of Punjab polls, leaders tell Congress high command

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on June 30, 2021

The concern is over the face-off between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu who is jostling for a prominent post

The Congress high command is facing criticism from leaders of the Punjab unit for indecision and “artificially created” organisational problem, days ahead of the Punjab elections. Most of the Punjab Congress MPs, MLAs and office bearers, who met the three-member panel headed by Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, are learnt to have told them that it would not be prudent to destabilise the State government headed by Amarinder Singh at this point.

The concern is over the face-off between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu who is jostling for a prominent post.

Also read: 300 free electricity units, 24/7 supply in Punjab if AAP wins polls: Kejriwal

Sources in the Congress said some leaders such as Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, PCC president Sunil Jhakar and his predecessor Partap Singh Bajwa have also voiced similar concerns.

“Amarinder Singh had resigned from the Congress and remained in Akali Dal and his own outfit for 14 years. Sidhu was in BJP for 13 years. We don’t understand why the high command is giving a lot of prominence to these two leaders who are not committed to the ideology of the Congress,” a leader told BusinessLine.

Who created the controversy?

Another leader said the entire controversy was created by the high command. “We were asked just one question by the three-member panel: Where should we place Sidhu? This itself proved that high command is not in a position to take a bold decision. We have told the panel that we should focus more on issues of farmers and common people,” he said.

The leaders believe that the controversy will strengthen the Aam Aadmi Party ahead of the elections. But the high command fears that Sidhu will join the AAP if he is denied either the post of PCC president or that of Deputy Chief Minister. The leaders tried to convince the high command that Sidhu is not a major factor in the State politics and the Congress has an upper hand because of the protests of farmers and the support the leadership gave to these protests.

Meanwhile, Sidhu met AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday. The meeting lasted for four hours. He is likely to meet Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, too, in the coming days.

Published on June 30, 2021

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