After months of turmoil, Navjot Singh Sidhu was finally appointed the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee on Sunday. Along with this, four working presidents have also been appointed to assist Sidhu keeping in mind the next assembly elections. This comes after almost a month of infighting in the state Congress unit, with Sidhu leading a camp against Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, over “unfulfilled promises” by the government.
The former cricketer turned politician, Navjot Singh Sidhu’s appointment comes after weeks of meetings between the two estranged leaders of Punjab and central leadership of the Congress party. Both the leaders had sought an appointment with the central leadership on an individual basis to air their grievances.
With this appointment, it is now clear that the Congress is a divided house. Captain Amarinder Singh has already said that he will only meet Sidhu once the firebrand leader deletes all his offensive tweets against him and the state government. The Chief Minister also demanded an apology from Sidhu for all statements made against his government to the media.
Captain Amarinder Singh, on Friday, had shot a letter to the Congress president where he had expressed his disagreement on making Sidhu the Punjab Congress chief.
With this appointment, the Congress high command has clearly sent a message that they still command all the crucial decisions regarding party affairs even in states. Captain Amarinder Singh still holds the charge of the election campaign committee, while Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Singh Bajwa will be responsible for drafting the election manifesto.
However, with the appointment of Sidhu, it is clear that there is bad blood between the two stalwarts of Punjab Congress and this does not bode well for the party ahead of the assembly elections. Despite his fiery speeches and charismatic appeal, the Chief Minister does not consider Sidhu to have any presence on ground. There is also a trust deficit between Singh and Sidhu.