Navjot Singh Sidhu march exposes Congress fault lines

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH:  Punjab Congress tried to put united show as state unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu led a march to Lakhimpur Kheri district but the fault lines in the party were exposed again. Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and both his deputies, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and O P Soni appeared briefly and later left. While 40-odd MLAs gathered in Mohali for the start of the march, only five cabinet ministers and about two dozen legislators accompanied Sidhu further. 

The differences between Channi and Sidhu continue as both leaders had a face off over the appointment of Punjab Advocate General APS Deol and Punjab DGP Iqbal Singh Sahota, Channi yesterday went to Lakhimpur Kheri with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Sidhu reached Mohali from Patiala in the morning, and left for Lakhimpur Kheri with a large convoy. He announced that if the culprits of Lakhimpur Kheri accident were not arrested then he would go on hunger strike.

While first-timers and junior cabinet ministers Vijay Inder Singla, Pargat Singh, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring and Sangat Singh Gilzian were there, none of the senior ministers were present. Many ruling party legislators did not turn up as each MLA was told to get 200 vehicles from his or her constituency.

MLAs who went along with Sidhu included Madan Lal Jalalpur, Fateh Jang Bajwa, Raj Kumar Chhabbewal, Harjot Kamal, Rajinder Singh and working presidents Kuljit Nagra and Pawan Goel. According to Pargat Singh “CM Channi flagged off our march and left as his son is  getting married and at a function at his house. Despite that he spared some time for the flagging off,” said.