The Congress high command is set to wrap up the ongoing consultations for restructuring the party unit in Punjab after meeting Amritsar MP and deputy leader of the party in the Lok Sabha Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday.
Amarinder will have a joint meeting with All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Rahul has already held parleys with party MLAs and district presidents on ways to strengthen the unit in Punjab after losing two successive polls.
It would be Amarinder’s first meeting with the Gandhis after he had questioned Rahul’s working style and leadership in an interview before leaving for the UK in September. A defiant Captain had also skipped the entire monsoon session, objected to stalling of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill by the Congress in Lok Sabha and held 26 rallies across Punjab to openly challenge the leadership of state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa.
According to sources, Rahul and his team have also taken feedback on rallies held by Amarinder. The Gandhis are likely to discuss the present political scenario in Punjab with the former CM and various options to restructure the state unit.
“The consultations with state leaders have been completed and now the party president and vice-president have called Amarinder to discuss various issues pertaining to the state politics. By all means, the issue of leadership will be resolved as per wishes of the Congressmen of Punjab by this month-end,” AICC secretary in- charge of Punjab Harish Chaudhry said.
With the popularity graph of the SAD-BJP government sinking in the wake of protests and unrest in the state over sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, the Congress wants to capitalise on the situation, he added.
In his earlier meetings, Amarinder has shown disinclination to accept the offer of being appointed chairman of the campaign committee, saying he needs full command of the state unit to win the 2017 state polls.
In their interaction with Rahul, a majority of MLAs have asserted that the baton be passed to Amarinder, as he enjoys mass support. His detractors, on the other hand, contended that the party has lost elections under his command.
So far, names of Amarinder Singh, Ambika Soni and Lal Singh are making rounds for the post of the new PPCC chief.