Navjot Singh Sidhu is an asset for Congress, says party’s Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat

Rawat sees a bigger role for ‘charismatic’ Sidhu in the run-up to the 2022 assembly elections
Congress MLA and former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu emerged from a year-long political hiatus last week but the time out failed to dent his popularity. He remains a crowd puller as his protest in Amritsar last week against the farm legislation showed.(Sameer Sehgal/HT)
Congress MLA and former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu emerged from a year-long political hiatus last week but the time out failed to dent his popularity. He remains a crowd puller as his protest in Amritsar last week against the farm legislation showed.(Sameer Sehgal/HT)
Updated on Sep 28, 2020 04:45 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Patiala | By

Punjab Congress legislator and former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was conspicuous by his absence at the dharna led by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh at Khatkar Kalan against the Centre’s farm laws on Monday but the party still considers him an asset.

“Sidhu is an asset for the party and is close to Rahul ji (Congress leader Rahul Gandhi). I am foreseeing a bigger role for the charismatic leader in 2022 when Punjab goes to the polls. He can do well on the national political scene as the former cricketer has the ability to build a mass campaign. We will make meaningful use of his abilities,” All India Congress Committee general secretary and Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat said here.

On the reorganisation of the state Congress unit, Rawat said the party has assigned him the task of ensuring the Congress returns to power in Punjab in 2022. “For this, the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) will be reconstituted. It’s long due. I will meet state Congress leaders and workers to assess the party’s mood, build consensus on issues, and give the feedback to the party president, who will take a final decision.”

Rawat did not confirm if Sidhu was being considered to lead the party’s state unit but said he will work for better coordination between the party and the government.

On the Shiromani Akali Dal snapping ties with the BJP, he said, “The SAD parted ways as a face-saver on the farmer issue. The SAD and the BJP have lost support of their votebank in Punjab. The Congress has strong chance of returning to power.”

Rawat, who has already met Congress rebel members of Parliament Partap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo in Delhi, said that he had listened to their views and issues raised by them. “Every problem has a solution. Their issues will be sorted out. I have asked them not to speak to the media and to raise their issues on a party platform,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A principal correspondent, Vishal Rambani is the bureau chief at Patiala. He covers politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues, with several investigative stories to his credit.

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