New Delhi, July 19, 2021: Putting to rest all suspense, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Sunday evening appointed Navjot Singh Sidhu as the president of the party’s Punjab unit.
“Congress president has appointed Navjot Singh Sidhu as the president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect,” according to a party statement.
“The party appreciates the contributions of outgoing PCC president Sunil Jakhar,”the statement said.
Gandhi also appointed four working presidents to assist Sidhu in the run-up to the next assembly elections. They are Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel and Kuljit Singh Nagra.
Sidhu had been engaged in a bitter feud with Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. The appointments of the working presidents are being seen as an effort to keep factional balance in the Punjab unit.
After Sidhu’s name started doing the rounds as the probable Punjab unit chief, Amarinder loyalists had sent feelers that they will accept the choice if the party high command so decides. However they demanded that Sidhu publicly apologised for his tirade against the chief minister.
Till late on Sunday evening, no such apology had come from Sidhu.
There was hectic activity throughout the day in Congress quarters, both in Delhi and Punjab, as efforts to resolve the crisis in the state gathered steam according to the reports published in timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
Sidhu met several state leaders in Khanna, Ludhiana and Jalandhar.
10 Congress MLAs believed to be close to the chief minister wrote a joint letter to the party high command, urging that Amarinder should not be “let down.”
In Delhi, all Congress MPs from Punjab convened at the residence of Pratap Singh Bajwa. However for the records, they said that the Sidhu issue was not discussed.