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Pro-Amarinder Leaders Tweet against Proposed Promotion of Sidhu Before His Meet with Sonia

File photo of Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu (right) with Punjab CM Amarinder Singh.

File photo of Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu (right) with Punjab CM Amarinder Singh.

Chief minister Amarinder Singh is resisting the plan to elevate Sidhu as the Punjab Congress chief.

Even before the Congress high command could formally announce its “peace formula" for the crisis-riddled Punjab unit, the infighting seems to have intensified further after reports of Navjot Singh Sidhu’s elevation as state party chief. Sources said Sidhu has been called to Delhi by party president Sonia Gandhi for a meeting, though the agenda was not known. Party incharge for Punjab Harish Rawat is also expected to be present.

Chandigarh witnessed huge political drama on Thursday after Rawat reportedly said that Sidhu will take over as the party’s state unit chief. Though he took a U-turn later, claiming the final decision was yet to be taken, Rawat’s previous statement had set off a flurry of political activity in Punjab’s capital with the camps of both chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Sidhu going into huddles to decide their next moves.

Reports of Sidhu’s elevation have seemingly not gone down well with many senior party leaders in the state. One of them, former union minister Manish Tewari, who is considered close to the CM, took to Twitter on Friday to bat for a non-Sikh state unit president.

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His post was followed by another senior party leader and general secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), Pawan Dewan, expressing his angst on the social media site about the proposed move.

The Congress has been battling a huge crisis in Punjab over the past few months with former cabinet minister Sidhu raising a banner of revolt against the chief minister. Though some state ministers seem to be ‘inclined’ towards him, the Captain camp claims that a majority of the MLAs are with him, a reason why the CM is resisting the elevation of Sidhu as the PCC chief. The skirmish has imperilled the party’s re-election bid in the state next year.

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first published:July 16, 2021, 11:54 IST