No meeting with Navjot Singh Sidhu, says Rahul Gandhi amid Punjab Congress infighting

Updated on Jun 29, 2021 08:03 PM IST

Earlier in the day, news agency ANI reported that Sidhu has left his residence in Patiala to meet Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi leaves his residence, in New Delhi.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi leaves his residence, in New Delhi.
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday denied having any meeting scheduled with Navjot SIngh Sindhu, leader from the party's Punjab unit. This comes a day after the former cricketer said he will meet Gandhis in the national capital amid his feud with Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh.

Earlier in the day, news agency ANI reported that Sidhu has left his residence in Patiala to meet Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Over the last few days, Rahul Gandhi has been meeting Congress MLAs, MPs and prominent leaders from Punjab at his residence. Both the chief minister and Sidhu have met Rahul Gandhi more than once, however the talks failed to diffuse the tensions between the senior party leaders.

Party president Sonia Gandhi has also set up a three-member panel to end factionalism in the party's Punjab unit.

On Friday, the leaders who reached Rahul Gandhi's residence to attend a meeting included Vijendra Singla, Rana Gurjit Singh, Rajya Sabha MP Shamsher Singh Dhillon, and MLA Lakhvir Singh.

Rajya Sabha MP Shamsher Singh Dhillon while speaking to the mediapersons had said that the meeting was held to resolve infighting in the Punjab Congress and added that decisions were made to strengthen the party in the upcoming elections in the state.

Notably, Singh during his recent three-day visit to Delhi did not meet Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Sidhu, who was earlier with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is known to have a support of Rahul Gandhi.

In 2019, Sidhu quit the Amarinder Singh cabinet over change in his portfolio. The bitterness mounted in May after the government suffered a legal setback in a 2015 police firing case.

His attacks have been public where Sidhu has called the chief minister a liar and accused him of not doing enough about issues like loan waiver.

In the flashpoint Sidhu criticised the Punjab chief minister after Singh gave government jobs to the sons of two Congress MLAs -- Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa and Rakesh Pandey-- on "compassionate" grounds. It triggered a stormin the Punjab Congress, while Sidhu accused him of giving jobs to "elitists".

The infighting has come in the midst of the elections season as Punjab is set to go to polls next year. The state is crucial for Congress as it is one of the few states where the party is in power and the outcome will have an impact on the party's prospects outside the state as well.

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