Sidhu’s Elevation Will ‘Split Party’, Amarinder Singh’s Warning in Letter to Sonia

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday wrote a letter expressing his ‘displeasure’ to Sonia Gandhi, amid speculations of Navjot Singh Sidhu being named the Congress’ state chief as party in-fighting continues.

Supporters arrived at Navjot Singh Sidhu‘s residence on Friday, and fed each other sweets while awaiting an official announcement on the matter.

Supporters gathered outside Navjot Singh Sidhu’s residence. (News18)

The letter mentions how the party would be harmed in the state if Sidhu is made president. Current Congress chief Harish Rawat will also visit Chandigarh on Saturday to meet Singh.

According to the CM, Sidhu’s working style would hurt the Congress. “Old party members will be angry, and the Congress will be split due to this,” he said in the letter.

Sidhu on Friday had met party chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Rawat were also present during the meeting.

The meeting came ahead of the party’s Punjab unit revamp. After the meeting, Rawat said Sonia Gandhi is yet to take a final decision on the issue and he will share it soon after it is done. Asked whether a decision to appoint Sidhu as Punjab Congress chief has been made, Rawat said, “Who says this?”

“I had come here to submit my report on Punjab to the Congress chief and as soon as a decision is taken by the Congress President, I will come and share it with you,” Rawat said. “Please read my statement very carefully and try and understand the words and their meaning,” he also said.

Sidhu, however, had left Sonia Gandhi’s 10, Janpath residence without talking to the media.

Rawat had maintained that the central leadership was working out a peace formula where both Singh and Sidhu could work together to help the party win in the Punjab Assembly polls next year.

Meanwhile, the Punjab chief minister’s media adviser on Thursday evening had said Amarinder Singh will take the Congress to victory in the Assembly polls next year, trashing reports that he has resigned. He had also urged the media to stop speculating and spreading misinformation, saying the CM has neither quit nor offered to do so.

The remarks came amid media reports that Amritsar MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu was likely to be announced the Punjab Congress chief by the party high command. Sidhu has been at loggerheads with the CM as he attacked him over the alleged delay in justice in the 2015 desecration cases.

The Congress leadership has been working out a formula for Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Sidhu to work together. The party had set up a three-member panel, headed by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, to resolve the infighting in the Punjab Congress. The party high command has been trying to resolve the internal rift in the Punjab unit, with just months to go before the next Assembly polls.

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