Navjot Singh Sidhu resigns as Punjab Congress chief
In a sudden development, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from his post on Tuesday.
Sidhu sent his resignation letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi in which he said that he will continue to serve the Congress.
"The collapse of a man's character stems from the compromise corner, I can never compromise on Punjab's future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab. Therefore, I hereby resign as the President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee," Sidhu said in his letter sent to Gandhi.
He, however, did not explain about the "compromise" part mentioned in the letter.
Sindhu's term remained a pretty short one - he was appointed as Punjab Congress chief on July 23 after months of months of feud with Amarinder Singh, who eventually resigned as the state's chief minister.
People familiar with the matter in the Congress said that Sidhu is disappointed that he wasn't named the chief minister after Singh. It is learnt that he did not meet the Gandhis before taking the decision to quit the post.
He also had issues with inclusion of “tainted” former minister Rana Gurjit Singh in Punjab Cabinet now led by Charanjit Singh Channi. Six MLAs from Doaba had written a letter to Sidhu on Sunday - hours before the swearing-in of the new Punjab cabinet - that Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh be dropped from the list of ministers over his alleged involvement in corruption. The leaders also demanded that the cabinet berth may instead be filled up “by giving representation to a clean Dalit leader”. A copy of the letter was also sent to Channi, but those advices were ignored and Rana Gurjit took oath as a cabinet minister.
The feud between Singh and Sidhu started in 2019 and escalated this year. The decision to elevate Sidhu as the chief of the party's state unit was taken by the Congress high command in a bid to end infighting ahead of the assembly elections next year, but the resignation today has proved that the political turmoil in Punjab is far from over.
Sidhu's resignation comes on a day when former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh is coming to Delhi. There is speculation that he will meet home minister Amit Shah, though there is no confirmation from both sides.
However, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said on the condition of anonymity that “the meeting will happen”, adding that “there is definitely movement on that front”.