Punjab Congress infighting: Amarinder Singh to meet AICC panel in Delhi Tuesday

NEW DELHI: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will Tuesday meet a three-member AICC Committee in Delhi which was formed to end the ongoing factionalism in the state unit and strengthen the party before the assembly polls next year, source said Monday.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Monday met some leaders from Punjab, including Amritsar MP Gurjit Singh Aujla and Fatehgarh Sahib MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra, ahead of changes in the state Congress, the sources said.

He is expected to meet some more leaders on Tuesday.

Amarinder Singh is in the national capital and would be meeting the AICC panel headed by Mallikarjun Kharge at 11 AM to resolve pending issues in the Punjab Congress, including the reconstitution of the state Congress, the sources said.

Among the issues that are pending include the rehabilitation of former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has once again gone vocal against the chief minister.

Singh and Sidhu have been at loggerheads for quite some time and have gone public against each other.

The party leadership wants a united Congress ahead of assembly elections.

A restructuring of the party and a possible cabinet reshuffle are also on the cards.

PCC head Sunil Jakhar could also be replaced if the leadership feels the state unit needs to be revamped.

A different role for him will also have to be carved out.

Sidhu, who is eyeing the PCC chief post is not willing to join Singh’s cabinet again, after he quit it in 2019, following differences with the chief minister after his portfolio was changed.

The AICC panel headed by Mallikarjun Kharge, and with AICC general secretary in-charge Harish Rawat and former MP J P Aggarwal as its members, has already submitted its report to the Congress president, suggesting the election should be held under the charge of CM Singh, and Sidhu may be suitably accommodated.

The post of deputy chief minister for Sidhu is also being mooted, but nothing has been finally worked out as he is not ready to accept any position under the chief minister, the sources said.