Amarinder Singh rebuffed as Navjot Sidhu is called Punjab Congress chief

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Written by Kanchan Vasdev
, Manoj C G
| Chandigarh, New Delhi |

July 19, 2021 4:15:15 am

IN A SURPRISE transfer on the finish of a day the place the Amarinder Singh camp received all of the Congress Lok Sabha MPs from Punjab and several other MLAs to plead his case, the excessive command Sunday evening introduced Navjot Singh Sidhu as the brand new PCC chief.

It additionally named 4 working presidents as a placatory gesture in the direction of Amarinder, who fought fiercely towards Sidhu’s appointment, earlier than lastly conceding and saying the latter ought to at the least apologise publicly for his diatribe towards his authorities. Lastly, the highest Congress management didn’t permit the Chief Minister both.

Amarinder was additionally ignored on the selection for working presidents. He had reportedly urged 4 names for working presidents and PCC chief — Cupboard minister Vijay Inder Singla, Raj Kumar Chabbewal, Tarsem D C and Ajit Inder Singh Mofar.

In its selection, the Congress tried to even the scales so far as caste and non secular dynamics go — one of many contentions of the Amarinder camp was that Sidhu was a Jat Sikh just like the CM, and his appointment would alienate Hindus. Among the many new working presidents, Tanda Urmur MLA Sangat Singh Gilzian is a backward class chief; Jandiala Guru MLA Sukhwinder Singh Danny belongs to a Scheduled Caste; former Faridkot district Congress president Pawan Goel is a Hindu; whereas Fatehgarh Sahib MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra is seen as Rahul Gandhi’s ear to the bottom.

Whereas Gilzian has been publicly essential of the CM not too long ago, Danny was thought of near him. Goel is the son of Congress chief Bhagwan Dass, who was assassinated throughout Punjab militancy. He had invited their ire by eradicating a turban from his head and tying it on then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi throughout his go to to Punjab.

Following the announcement concerning Sidhu, incumbent PCC chief Sunil Jakhar cancelled a gathering he had referred to as of MLAs and district chiefs Monday to go a decision urging the excessive command to take a call quickly. An identical assembly had been deliberate by the Punjab Youth Congress. The announcement on Sidhu initially was anticipated after the conferences, until Delhi pulled out the Sunday evening shock.

Celebrations in Patiala over Sidhu’s appointment. (PTI)

Earlier within the day, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, seen as extra sympathetic to the CM than Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, referred to as up the state MPs who had come collectively for a gathering at Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa’s home, and had resolved to oppose Sidhu.

Sidhu himself spent the day travelling by means of the state to fulfill MLAs, together with two in Amarinder’s stronghold of Patiala. Between Saturday and Sunday, he met over 40 leaders.

After Sidhu’s appointment, Jakhar stated the Congress president had entrusted him with a fantastic duty with six months to go for Meeting elections. “I’m assured that he’ll come true to the expectations of the social gathering in addition to the folks of Punjab and take all people alongside.”

A former BJP chief, Sidhu joined the Congress forward of the 2017 Meeting elections, by way of the excessive command. Given this backing, it was all the time believed that Sidhu would get a major position, although Amarinder ensured this could not occur. By the way, one of many folks seen as instrumental in bringing Sidhu to the Congress was political strategist Prashant Kishor, who’s operating Amarinder’s marketing campaign now.

Since 2019, when Amarinder divested Sidhu of his Native Our bodies Division portfolio and the latter resigned, there was open warfare between the 2. Since April, Sidhu has been attacking the CM on Twitter.

The Congress management had arrange a committee to look into the state unit issues, which noticed Amarinder heading to Delhi twice to plead his case. Whereas the CM was saved ready for an appointment with the highest management, Sidhu was given an viewers.

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