Navjot Singh Sidhu to be named as Punjab Congress Chief
Congress General Secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat said Navjot Singh Sidhu is going to be the new President of Punjab Congress.Author : A. Gayatri
In a major development, Congress General Secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat said Navjot Singh Sidhu is going to be the new President of Punjab Congress.
In a talk with the media channel on Thursday, Rawat said Sidhu will be announced Party President of the PPCC besides two Executive Presidents would also be announced, representing the Hindu and Dalit communities.
Mr Sidhu, who is in a tussle with Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, would replace Sunil Jakkar.
Apart from this, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh would also refurbish his Council of Ministers, many ministers including Gurpreet Kangar and Charanjeet Channi are likely to be sacked and some Hindu and Dalit faces are likely to add to the ministry. Assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh and MLA and Dalit leader Raj Kumar are expected new faces.
The Congress is mulling an idea of appointing a Dalit and a Hindu as working presidents. The names of Raj Kumar Verka and Santokh Chaudhary are being considered for the working president as both are Dalits and can counter the Akali Dal-BSP alliance impact.
While another from the Hindu community is to balance the equation, Vijay Inder Singla could be appointed as another working president. Not only this, the party is mulling to reshuffle cabinet in the state ahead of polls and give more representation to the Dalit community in the state.
Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat said it may take some time but to balance the equation in the state, the party is working on the formula to appoint Sidhu in a prominent position while asserting that Amarinder Singh has already said that he will abide by the high command's decision.
"The party is working on a formula to appoint two working presidents and elections will be fought under the leadership of the Chief Minister," said Rawat.
However, no official announcement has been made so far, sources say Navjot Singh Sidhu is likely to get the post of party's state head with two working presidents in his team, and Amarinder Singh will lead the party into the elections.
A formal announcement by the Party is expected to be made soon.
The idea of representation of the Dalit community was one of the demands put forward by the MLAs to the three-member community formed by Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi to resolve the issue between Capt Amarinder and Navjot Sidhu. Following this, the news related to the compromise between Punjab CM and Navjot Sidhu was out, after the Chief Minister met party chief Sonia Gandhi.
Sources said the formula has been devised after the meeting with Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has taken up arms against chief minister Amarinder Singh, had met party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi recently to discuss the political situation in the state.
A three-member committee headed by senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge, set up to resolve the issues in Punjab Congress, had submitted its report. Amarinder Singh and Sidhu, among other state leaders, had also met the committee members to put their viewpoints.
Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu have maintained feuds since the 2017 election. At that time, Mr Sidhu had hoped to be the Deputy Chief Minister but this move was reportedly scuttled by Mr Singh.
Mr Sidhu was detached from the party and remained silent for two-three years. But in recent months, he has started re-targeting Amarinder Singh and has become a hard-to-ignore problem in the upcoming Punjab polls.
His recent attacks include – a swipe at the Chief Minister over the power crisis, a 2015 case involving the desecration of Shri Guru Granth Sahib and police firing during a peaceful protest.
In his recent tweet, Mr Sidhu has also praised the AAP party. His recent tweet read, “Our opposition AAP has always recognized my vision & work for Punjab. Be it before 2017- Beadbi, Drugs, Farmers Issues, Corruption & Power Crisis faced by People of Punjab raised by me or today as I present “Punjab Model” It is clear they know - who is fighting for Punjab”.