Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met AICC general secretary in charge of Harish Rawat, who flew down to Chandigarh amid speculation over Navjot Singh Sidhu‘s possible elevation Punjab Congress chief. The chief minister said he raised “certain issues” with Rawat during the “fruitful” meeting at his farmhouse in Mohali.
Amarinder Singh had told Rawat yesterday that he would not meet Sidhu until the cricketer-turned-politician publicly regretted or apologised for his tweets against him. The chief minister is learnt to have told Rawat how the issue was handled was not acceptable and he still had reservations over Sidhu’s appointment but would accept any decision that the leadership took, sources in the party said.
The Punjab chief minister had earlier affirmed that he would accept any decision taken by interim INC President Sonia Gandhi.
Meanwhile, INC leader Navjot Singh Sidhu met Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sunil Jakhar and several MLAs on Saturday. After meeting Jakhar, Sidhu met other party leaders, including some ministers, in Chandigarh.
The Punjab chief minister is learnt to have also written a letter to Sonia Gandhi, expressing his reservations over Sidhu’s appointment as Punjab Congress chief. Expressing his annoyance, the captain is believed to have written that many INC leaders may resign and the move to appoint Sidhu as the PPCC chief could even lead to a split in the party.
Amarinder referred to the wrong message that Sidhu’s appointment would send out by having two Jat Sikhs at the helm (on the posts of chief minister and PPCC chief).
Sonia Gandhi now faces an uphill task of balancing the two forces that are pulling in different directions. The elaborate exercise to take feedback from Punjab Congress leaders has failed to make them put up a united face through a three-member AICC panel.
The rival leaders have often aired their differences in public and made statements against each other.