In his meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday, AICC general secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat informed the CM about Navjot Singh Sidhu being made the next head of its party’s state unit, sources told News18. On the other hand, the Captain has told Rawat that he would not meet Sidhu until he apologises for his ‘derogatory tweets and interviews’, Congress sources said.
Saying that it’s a party decision, Rawat informed the Captain that three to four working presidents of the CM’s choice would also be appointed along with Sidhu, sources said.
According to the sources, an announcement in the matter could be made soon, even on Saturday. Only after Rawat talks to Sonia Gandhi will an official announcement be made through a press release.
Meanwhile, Rawat, after meeting Singh on Saturday, said in a tweet: “I have just returned to Delhi after meeting Amarinder Singh Ji. I am glad that a lot of the things that are being discussed have been proven pointless and Captain Sahib has reiterated his important statement, that any decision taken by the Congress president will be acceptable to all."
जिसमें उन्होंने कहा है कि माननीया कांग्रेस #अध्यक्ष, पंजाब के विषय में अध्यक्ष के पद को लेकर के जो भी निर्णय करेंगी वो निर्णय मुझे स्वीकार्य होगा, मैं उसका आदर करूंगा।#Thankyou_Captain for your great statement.@INCIndia @SoniyaGandhinc @RahulGandhi @INCPunjab @kcvenugopalmp— Harish Rawat (@harishrawatcmuk) July 17, 2021
Meanwhile, Sidhu met Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sunil Jakhar and several MLAs on Saturday, amid mounting speculation over whether the party will appoint the cricketer-turned-politician as the next head of its state unit. After the meeting with Jakhar, which lasted more than half-an-hour, Sidhu said he 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.
He reached out to Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and senior party leader Lal Singh, who are considered close to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Sidhu also met Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and MLAs Barindermeet Singh Pahra, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Kulbir Singh Zira and Davinder Singh Ghubaya. Talking to reporters, Randhawa said “all is well" in the party.
The meetings come in the backdrop of simmering tensions in the Punjab Congress following differences between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Sidhu. On Friday, Sidhu met party chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi in an apparent bid to arrive at a truce formula over the state unit revamp.
Also present at the meeting were AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab Harish Rawat and Rahul Gandhi. Reports of Sidhu’s elevation had irked Amarinder Singh and he had written to Sonia Gandhi expressing strong resentment over the developments.