Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has led a revolt against the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in recent weeks, today said he had sought the “guidance” of many past Presidents of the party’s Punjab unit, besides that of incumbent Sunil Jakhar and others. He tweeted saying he had “conversations with wise men”.
With the crisis in Punjab Congress showing no signs of blowing out, the cricketer-turned-politician’s activities hinted at him preparing for a role that he is reportedly being primed for. However, there has been no official announcement yet on this front.
Among the past Punjab Congress Presidents he has met since yesterday are Pratap Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dhullo in Delhi.
Seeking guidance of Presidents of the illustrious Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee … Conversations with wise men, worth months of Education !! ???????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/Tq5uqkbp6m
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) July 17, 2021
Mr Sidhu also met the party’s present state unit chief Sunil Jakhar at the latter’s residence in Panchkula. The meeting took place hours ahead of Mr Singh’s own meeting with Harish Rawat, the Congress’s Punjab in-charge who flew in late in the morning today on a state government chopper.
These meetings came hours after indications that the cricketer-turned-politician may be given a promotion in order to quell the revolt.
Any decision taken by Congress President Sonia Gandhi will be acceptable to all, Mr Singh said after meeting Mr Rawat, PTI reported.
“Everything was fine earlier in Congress, it is fine now as it will be in the future, too. All is well. Congress leaders and workers keep meeting each other regularly,” said Punjab Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, according to ANI.
Mr Rawat was flown in a day after Mr Singh, according to sources, wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi objecting to Mr Sidhu’s reported elevation as chief of their state unit, replacing Sunil Jakhar.
Mr Sidhu’s promotion was part of a compromise formula reportedly arrived at by the party following a series of separate meetings between the Gandhis, Mr Sidhu, and Mr Singh. The Chief Minister had last week said he would accept “whatever decision is taken by the Congress high command”.
Two other leaders — one from the Dalit community and the other, a Hindu face — were likely to be named Working Presidents, according to the deal.
Hours after Mr Sidhu’s meeting with the Gandhis, his supporters even organised “celebrations” in Chandigarh though no announcement was made.
Party sources, however, later said that Mr Singh was not on board with the plan. Speaking to the media, Mr Rawat, who was present in Mr Sidhu’s meeting with the Gandhis last week, said he had “never said” Mr Sidhu would be made Punjab Congress chief.
The feud between Mr Singh and Mr Sidhu has been on since the 2017 state elections. Mr Sidhu, who joined the party after a stint in the BJP, hoped to be made Deputy Chief Minister. But the move was reportedly scuttled by Mr Singh.