If removing him as the Punjab Congress chief strengthens the party, then it should be done, said Sunil Jakhar on Friday responding to speculations that he may be replaced. His statement came a day after a three-member Congress panel set up to end factionalism in the state unit submitted its report to party chief Sonia Gandhi, suggesting a revamp to accommodate all sections.
“If the Congress becomes strong by removing Sunil Jakhar, then that must be done today,” Jakhar said when asked that there were speculations that he may be replaced. When asked that the panel has said that Amritsar MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu be “suitably accommodated” in the revamped unit, Jakhar agreed that he should get a “respectable position”. However, he told reporters that they should not speculate over the panel report. “Let the committee’s report come, you should not do guess work on that. I have not read the report,” he said.
Jakhar further said he would never like to become a “stumbling block” in any such effort of the party, which is aimed at strengthening it. “I have said from day one that if having someone else as the PCC chief strengthens the Congress Party, then it should be done,” said the former Gurdaspur MP. The Congress panel was chaired by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and included AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former MP J P Aggarwal. Rawat had on Thursday said the report has been submitted to the Congress president, who would take a final call on the suggestions made.
Though no major changes have been recommended at the top level in Punjab, the panel is learnt to have said that Navjot Singh Sidhu be “suitably accommodated” in the revamped unit. Sidhu’s name is doing the rounds for inclusion in the state cabinet and elevation as the deputy CM but Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is reportedly opposed to it.
Sidhu had quit the state cabinet nearly two years ago after his Local Bodies portfolio was changed.