This is the Congress President’s first meeting with the Punjab CM since she set up a committee to resolve the party crisis in Congress-ruled Punjab.
Sonia Gandhi is expected to discuss the role that the party has thought of for Navjot Singh Sidhu, the cricketer-turned-politician who is at the centre of rebellion against the Chief Minister by many senior leaders and legislators.
The party had planned some leadership changes in the Punjab Congress, including the appointment of a new state unit head. Sources said the top leadership wants to accommodate disgruntled Sidhu as the party chief in Punjab. Sidhu may, however, share the post with another leader, according to the formula chalked out by the party to diffuse infighting in the poll-bound state.
Congress leaders, including the CM, have been opposed to the proposal of making Sidhu party president in Punjab. Captain Amarinder Singh had been arguing that both the chief minister and the party president cannot be Jat Singh. Both Sidhu and Captain Amarinder Singh come from Patiala district of Punjab.
Party leader Rahul Gandhi, who met Sidhu last week, is likely to join the Punjab Chief Minister’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi.
Sources said that the party leadership might appoint a Hindu leader as the working president of the Punjab unit as a balancing act. Legislator Vijay Inder Singla might become the working president, according to the sources.
Sidhu had joined the Congress after leaving the BJP before the 2017 assembly elections. He quit the Amarinder Singh cabinet in 2019 over the change in his portfolio.
In the last five months, his attacks on Captain Amarinder Singh have been public, and even called the chief minister a liar.
Last month, a three-member panel set up by Sonia Gandhi to resolve infighting had recommended that Amarinder Singh is fit to be the leader of the party in the state but Sidhu should also be given a key role.
Excerpt: The Congress chief is expected to discuss the role that the party has thought of for Navjot Singh Sidhu, the cricketer-turned-politician who is at the center of rebellion against the Chief Minister by many senior leaders and legislators.