CM Amarinder Singh to attend Sidhu's elevation ceremony tomorrow
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has decided to attend newly appointed Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu's elevation event on Friday. The two leaders have been at loggerheads over the past few months and with Assembly election scheduled to be held next year, the central leadership had been struggling to resolve the months-long feud.
The CM's media advisor, Raveen Thukral, said Singh has invited all state Congress MLAs, MPs and senior party functionaries at Punjab Bhawan for tea at 10am on Friday. "They will all then go to Punjab Congress Bhawan together from there for the installation of the new PPCC team," Thukral wrote on Twitter.
Earlier, it was reported Sidhu had sent an invite for the event to Singh that was signed by about 65 party MLAs.
The party’s working president, Kuljit Singh Nagra, said former Uttarakhand chief minister and Congree in-charge of Punjab’s affairs Harish Rawat has said he would come to the programme.
"As soon as other leaders of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) give any confirmation on their attending the event, we'll tell you," Nagra was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “We'll meet the CM at 3pm today (Thursday) and give him an invitation,” he had said.
Rawat later said the Congress will unitedly welcome the new president on Friday under Singh's leadership.
Sidhu, who will replace veteran leader Sunil Jakhar, will formally take charge at a function on Friday.
The tiff between Sidhu and Singh turned uglier ever since the Amritsar (East) MLA attacked the CM over the Guru Granth Sahib desecration cases.
According to reports, Singh was against Sidhu’s elevation as Congress' Punjab unit chief. Thukral had said the chief minister will not meet Sidhu until he publicly apologises for the derogatory remarks on social media against him.
The cricketer-turned-politician was appointed as the new president of the party's Punjab unit on Sunday by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. She also appointed four working presidents, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel and Kuljit Singh Nagra, to assist Sidhu in the run-up to the next Assembly elections scheduled to be held next year.
On Wednesday, nearly 60 Congress MLAs had gathered at Sidhu’s residence in Amritsar in what was seen as a show of strength. The MLAs at Sidhu's residence said the party is united and that there is no need for offering any apology. The Congress has 80 MLAs in the Assembly.