New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday (June 22) met the three-member Congress panel in Delhi amid escalating tension in the state unit with Navjot Singh Sidhu who has stepped up his attack against the chief minister.
Mallikarjun Kharge, who heads the panel, said after the meeting, “The party will fight the 2022 state assembly elections under the leadership of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. The Congress high command will try to resolve all the issues in the party’s Punjab unit. Committee members met before also and discussed with all. We are preparing for the upcoming elections. High command will try to resolve all the issues and grievances of our leaders. Everything will be fine. We will all together fight the election.”
Asked why Navjot Singh Sidhu did not come to attend the meeting called by the panel, Kharge said: “It is not like that at all, we have called Captain Amarinder for some clarification. Everyone in the party said in one voice that they will fight the election together and will again form the government in Punjab. If anyone has any kind of issues, the High command will try to find the solution,” he added.
The three-member panel, set up by Congress President Sonia Gandhi to end factionalism in the party’s Punjab unit, was scheduled to meet today to discuss certain pointers with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh raised in the report. According to senior party leader Harish Rawat, interim president Sonia Gandhi has expressed interest in discussing certain pointers and the committee will discuss them with Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. This was Singh’s first meeting with the panel members after they had submitted a report to party chief Sonia Gandhi.
Sources said the panel has not recommended the removal of the chief minister and Amarinder Singh is likely to lead the party in the next elections. Instead, a slew of reforms have been suggested in the party state unit. While the fate of Navjot Singh Sidhu is still not clear, sources said the panel wants his rehabilitation in the Punjab cabinet. Amarinder Singh is averse to Sidhu being elevated to the post of deputy CM but is ready to accommodate him in the cabinet, sources said.
The panel had met all the stakeholders in the party including chief minister Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu.
The AICC panel, which includes Mallikarjun Kharge, JP Aggarwal, and Harish Rawat, has met Rahul Gandhi twice after submitting their report. Sources close to the Chief Minister said on Sunday that the meeting is aimed at finding a solution acceptable to him concerning various issues.