MP Preneet Kaur holds Navjot Singh Sidhu responsible for row in Punjab Congress

By PTI

CHANDIGARH: Amid the tussle within the Congress’ Punjab unit, its general secretary and MLA Pargat Singh on Sunday said Harish Rawat, the in-charge of the party’s state affairs, should explain when was a decision taken to fight the assembly polls under Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s leadership.

Rawat had recently said the Punjab Assembly polls will be fought under the leadership of Amarinder Singh, delivering a snub to the leaders wanting the chief minister’s removal.

He had made this remark in Dehradun where four Punjab ministers — Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Charanjit Singh Channi and three legislators — who wanted Amarinder Singh to be replaced, had come to meet him.

The state is witnessing infighting between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Pargat Singh, who is considered close to Sidhu, said Rawat’s announcement had a “big impact” on the voters of Punjab.

Interacting with reporters in Jalandhar on Sunday, Pargat Singh, who is a former Indian hockey captain, said the Kharge committee had said the Punjab elections would be contested under the leadership of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi.

“Harish Rawat ji who can tell about the decision of fighting the 2022 polls under the leadership of Amarinder Singh. Rawat ji is a very mature leader and had been chief minister of Uttarakhand. He should make his statement clear. You (reporters) may ask him when this decision was taken,” he said.

The Congress had set up a three a three-member committee led by Rajya Sabha member Mallikarjun Kharge to resolve differences among party leaders in Punjab.

To a question about Sidhu virtually daring the party leadership to allow him freedom in taking decisions else he will give a befitting reply, Pargat Singh said the media twisted his remarks.

He added that Sidhu respects Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.

Pargat Singh has been critical of Amarinder Singh over unfulfilled polls promises, including delay in delivery of justice in the desecration of a religious text and subsequent police firing, and scrapping of electricity purchase agreements with private power plants.