Navjot Singh Sidhu quit Amarinder Singh's cabinet in 2019 following differences with the chief minister after his portfolio was changed. (File image)
Amid the growing feud between Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and former Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Congress has stepped up its efforts to resolve the crisis and strengthen the party in the state ahead of the 2022 assembly elections.
Worried about the impact of the squabble between Singh and Sidhu on the Congress’ prospects in the coming state polls, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge met the Punjab CM on June 22.
Captain Amarinder Singh (retd) met the All India Congress Committee (AICC) panel, set up to end factionalism and strengthen the party in the state ahead of next year's assembly elections, headed by Kharge for the second occasion in recent times. He had earlier met its members at the AICC headquarters, before the submission of the panel report.
AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former MP JP Aggarwal, who are the other members of the panel, were also present during the over three-hour meeting.
In the meeting, Singh is learnt to have discussed how to strengthen the party in Punjab and present a united Congress ahead of the assembly polls. He is also learnt to have discussed the latest public utterances made by his former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is at loggerheads with him.
Sidhu, who is eyeing the PCC chief post, is not willing to join Singh's cabinet again, which he quit in 2019 following differences with the chief minister after his portfolio was changed.
In the meeting, Rawat is learnt to have apprised the party leadership about the recent outbursts of Sidhu, reported news agency PTI citing its sources.
The panel members have taken note of Sidhu's recent interviews and have expressed "displeasure" over his outbursts, said Kharge. They are of the view that all party matters should be discussed in the party forum and not in public, he said.
Meanwhile, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is also learnt to have stepped in and is meeting some key leaders of the Congress from Punjab, including some sitting MPs, legislators and ministers.(With inputs from PTI)