The infighting in Punjab Congress seems to have intensified with Congress leaders indulging in poster wars. Days after ‘Sidhu is missing’ posters popped up in Amritsar, separate posters of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu have surfaced in Patiala and Amritsar in the run-up to the 2022 assembly elections in the state.
Separate hoardings with CM Capt Amarinder Singh and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on them, come up in Patiala in the run-up to the 2022 Punjab election.— ANI (@ANI) June 10, 2021
The CM’s daughter, Jai Inder Kaur says, “My father will contest from Patiala and I will campaign for him.” pic.twitter.com/TfwI0CdTKw
Extending support to her father, Captain Singh’s daughter Jai Inder Kaur stated, “My father will contest from Patiala and I will campaign for him.”
While posters of Navjot Singh Sidhu emerged in Patiala which is Captain Amarinder Singh’s constituency, the CM’s posters have surfaced in Amritsar East, which is the constituency of Sidhu.
Committee formed to address the grievances of Punjab leaders
Former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Jalandhar Cant MLA Pargat Singh have waged a war against Amarinder Singh in the 2015 sacrilege case. A group led by the duo has also demanded a change in the state leadership.
This forced the AICC to constitute a committee to address the grievances of the Punjab leaders. The panel headed by senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge met at a party war room at GRG road to discuss mitigating the crisis. Kharge informed that the committee which comprises himself, Congress’ Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat and former MP JP Aggarwal will submit its report in three or four days on the matter.
However, according to reports, the committee has dismissed the idea of removing Captain Amarinder Singh and has instead recommended revamping the cabinet in the state and accommodating Siddhu suitably in the govt. Reportedly he may be made the Deputy Chief Minister in the Punjab government. A final decision in the matter will be taken by party president Sonia Gandhi.
They added that Congress is trying to appease Sidhu and looking for ways to keeping him in the party by making some minor adjustments.
Captain Amarinder Singh who appeared before the three-member Congress panel said, “The meeting was to discuss the preparations for the Assembly Elections scheduled early next year. These are our inner-party discussions and I don’t propose to share them with you.”
“Sidhu is missing posters”
Early this month, posters claiming ‘Sidhu is missing‘ surfaced in Amritsar (East). A reward of Rs 50,000 was also promised to anyone who ‘finds’ the missing MLA. The posters suggested that Sidhu forgot the promises made to the people after winning elections in 2017.
Similar posters were plastered in 2019 in his constituency by a Shiromani Akali Dal leader. The leader had offered a reward of Rs 2,100 and a trip to Pakistan to anyone who finds him, presumably after Sidhu’s trip to Pakistan.
Sidhu conducts a secret meeting
A couple of ministers and some MLAs led by Sidhu held a secret meeting in May to devise strategies to mount pressure on the CM to resolve the 2015 sacrilege case and the subsequent police firing cases of Kotkapura and initiate a clampdown on the alleged drug mafia, reported Indian Express.
These two issues had been the main poll promises of Congress in the 2017 Assembly elections. Last month, the politician had demanded a new SIT probe in the sacrilege case.
Now, Sidhu has been joined by the Cooperation and Jails Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa and Technical Education, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Charanjit Channi. MLAs Partap Singh Bajwa’s brother Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa, along with Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon, Balwinder Laddi and Barindermeet Singh Pahra were also said to be present during the meeting.