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Punjab Crisis Still Simmers as Amarinder, Sidhu Hold Parallel Meetings in Show of Strength

Few hours after ascent of MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu as the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), the newly appointed party chief and CM Amarinder engage in yet another show of strength by simultaneously holding party meetings one at Cabinet Minister’s house while the other at CM’s residence.

At present, a total of 11 MLAs are conducting a meeting at the CM’s residence. These include Health Minister Balbir singh sidhu, Punjab Vidhan Sabha speaker Speaker Rana KP, Minister Sadhu singh dharamsot, MLA nirmal singh shatrana, MLA Harminder singh gill, Minister Bram Mahindra, MLA Hardyal kamboj, MLA raj kumar verka, MLA Madan lal Jalalpur, MLA Sukhpal bhullar, MLA navtez cheema, News18 reported.

This development comes after Congress MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed the Punjab Congress president on Sunday, after months of bitter party-infighting with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Four working presidents have also been appointed alongside Sidhu, namely, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel, and Kujit Singh Nagra. Danny, a Dalit Sikh is Rahul Gandhi’s choice. While Sangat Singh is an OBC, Goel is a Hindu, and Nagra is a Jat Sikh.

Previously, Sidhu had been at loggerheads with Amarinder Singh, after the leader attacked him over the alleged delay in justice in the 2015 desecration cases. Both have recently held a series of meetings in Chandigarh and elsewhere in Punjab, to work out last-minute strategies ahead of the party revamp.

While Sidhu has been aiming to be the Captain’s successor in Punjab, the CM had reiterated his displeasure over the possibility of the cricketer and his bête noire being given a key post in the party. He had also written a letter to Sonia Gandhi earlier, saying the party would be ‘split’ in the state if Sidhu was given the coveted post.

Earlier party MLAs had rallied around the Captain. Senior party leader Sukhpal Khaira claiming the support of 10 Congress MLAs, had urged the high command not to let down Amarinder Singh “due to whose unrelenting efforts the party stands well entrenched in Punjab”.

The MLAs said that it was due to Captain that the party regained power in Punjab in the aftermath of the 1984 attack on Darbar Sahib and the subsequent genocide of the Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere in the country.

While Opposition parties prepare for the 2022 elections, Congress has been embroiled in a battle of its own. The central party leadership had also constituted a panel to resolve the crisis. Sidhu, in the meantime, has been stepping-up his efforts and has reached out to more party leaders and legislators for their support.

Navjot Singh Sidhu’s impending appointment as the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) could mean he would be Captain Amarinder Singh’s successor and maybe the Chief Minister of the state sometime in the future if the Congress wins in 2022 in Punjab.

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