Amarinder Singh writes to Sonia Gandhi; objects to Navjot Sidhu as Punjab Congress chief: Reports
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has reportedly written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, expressing his reservation over the appointment of disgruntled leader Navjot Singh Sidhu as the state unit chief, according to news agency PTI.
In his letter, Singh is believed to have warned Gandhi that appointing Sidhu as the president of the Punjab Congress could have an "adverse" impact on the party's prospects in the assembly elections which are likely to take place early next year. The possible elevation of Sidhu would amount to ignoring the old guard, Singh reportedly wrote in the letter.
In recent days, reports have emerged that the former cricketer-turned-politician could be tasked with heading the Punjab unit of the Congress in a bid to pacify him, thus bringing to an end a long-running feud which has only escalated in recent days, and has also seen both leaders appear before a three-member panel in Delhi to present their respective case.
On a related note, former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, one of the three members on the panel, and in-charge of the Congress' affairs in Punjab, is likely to meet Singh in Chandigarh on Saturday. Senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge and former MP JP Aggarwal are the two other members of the Gandhi-appointed committee.
In the 2017 assembly elections, the Congress, led by Singh, returned to power by winning 77 seats in the 117-member Punjab legislative assembly, displacing the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government from power. In the process, the party also increased its tally from 46 seats in the 2012 assembly elections.