Navjot Singh Sidhu will continue as Punjab Congress chief, AICC general secretary Harish Rawat said after an intense meeting with the cricketer-turned-politician at the party headquarters in the state on Thursday. The meeting, also attended by Congress veteran KC Venugopal, came after Sidhu last month posted his resignation on Twitter apparently miffed at the appointments and cabinet reshuffle under Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
“Navjot Sidhu has clearly stated that the decision of the Congress President will be acceptable to him. The instructions are clear that he should work as Punjab Congress President and set up the organisational structure. An announcement will be made tomorrow,” said Rawat after the meeting.
Sidhu also appeared subdued. “All my concerns about Punjab have been told to the high command and I have full faith in Sonia, Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi that whatever decision they take, it will be for the benefit of the Congress and Punjab,” he said.
Channi had last month replaced Amarinder Singh as the chief minister of the state and Sidhu was reportedly unhappy with the allocation of cabinet portfolios and appointments of the advocate general and director general of police.
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) had not taken any decision on Sidhu’s resignation while Channi and some state leaders have been trying to convince the Punjab Congress chief to withdraw his resignation.
Sidhu in a cryptic tweet on October 2 had said, “Will uphold principles of Gandhi Ji & Shastri Ji Post or No Post will stand by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi” “Let all negative forces try to defeat me, but with every ounce of positive energy will make Punjab win, Punjabiyat (Universal Brotherhood) win and every Punjabi win,” he had said. Sidhu had earlier held meetings and deliberations with party MLAs and leaders and workers over the organisational setup.
The office-bearers of the new body of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and district presidents are yet to be appointed. Sidhu was made the Punjab Congress chief in July despite strong opposition from the then Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
The party had also appointed four working presidents of the PPCC. Later, two general secretaries and a treasurer of the Punjab Congress were also appointed.
However, after Sidhu raised questions over the appointments of director general of police, state’s advocate general and tainted leaders, the party formed a coordination panel for consultation before any major decision is taken by the Charanjit Singh Channi-led government.
(With PTI inputs)