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Here's What Led to Harish Rawat's 11:42 pm Tweet That Has Sent Punjab Congress into a Tizzy

By: Swati Bhan

Edited By:

News18.com

Last Updated: September 18, 2021, 12:14 IST

Once a close associate of Harish Rawat, Ranjeet Rawat had on Monday accused the former chief minister of selling party tickets to aspirants.(Image: Twitter)

Once a close associate of Harish Rawat, Ranjeet Rawat had on Monday accused the former chief minister of selling party tickets to aspirants.(Image: Twitter)

The midnight announcement has left a section of senior party leadership in the Congress flustered.

At about 11:42 p.m on Friday, Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat tweeted about the decision to hold an urgent CLP meeting on Saturday. Ten minutes later at 11:52 pm, PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu directed all the MLAs to be present. The announcement would seem sudden but the developments prior to it are indicative that the Congress high command was under pressure from the anti-Captain Amarinder Singh lobby to act.

The ball was set into motion two days ago when about 40 MLAs wrote to the Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi seeking a CLP to take stock of the 18-point agenda which Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had been tasked to fulfil prior to elections. Sources said that the letter put the high command in a quandary. Rawat, though on numerous occasions has reiterated that there was no move to remove Singh, but the letter by a big chunk of legislators was too important politically to be ignored.

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Reliable sources in the party revealed that after deliberations, the high command had decided to send two party observers to “gauge" the mood of the majority of the legislators in the state. “The idea was to get a sense of the numbers were actually too big and to what extent the anti-Capt legislators were willing to press for the removal of the Chief Minister," said a leader. Accordingly, the party had decided to send Harish Chaudhary and Ajay Maken to Chandigarh and try and meet the legislators.

But the plan had to be altered at the last minute, said sources. Sensing that it would spark off yet another tug of war between pro and anti-captain camp, it was decided that a CLP be called instead. “The observers meeting legislators separately would again have sent a bad message to the media," said a source.

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Initially, it had been decided that the CLP meeting announcement would be made by around 5 pm on Friday but yet again the plan was put on hold for some hours. “The fact that Rawat chose midnight to make the announcement, indicative that the party high command feared that pro-Captain legislators would make some moves to create uncertainty," said a leader.

But the midnight announcement left a section of senior party leadership flustered. “It is as if some kind of a secret operation is being carried out. Even if the meeting was to be called, there is a proper way of doing it. Definitely, a tweet at 11.42 pm was not the right thing to do when you dealing with such an issue," a leader said.

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first published:September 18, 2021, 10:37 IST
last updated:September 18, 2021, 12:14 IST
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