Punjab Congress MPs Against Navjot Sidhu Promotion To Meet Sonia Gandhi
The rift between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu, festering since Congress won the Punjab election.
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The MPs who met at Rajya Sabha colleague Pratap Singh Bajwa's residence, will tell Sonia Gandhi that they are opposed to the appointment of Navjot Sidhu as the state Congress chief.
Mr Sidhu, they will argue, has behaved in the most erratic manner in the last five years and has no grip on the organisation. Also, they plan to argue that social representation of other castes and communities have to be looked at, sources said.
The old-timers in the party are upset with the central leadership's decision to have elevate Mr Sidhu, whom they call a "BJP reject", sources said.
Navjot Sidhu, meanwhile, has shifted base to Patiala, the home turf of the Chief Minster. He met around 30 MLAs yesterday and more meetings are due today.
Sunil Jakhar, state Congress president and a rival of Mr Singh, has called a meeting of party MLAs and district chiefs tomorrow.Coming on the heels of Mr Sidhu's meeting yesterday with him, the call has raised questions on whether Mr Jakhar plans a show support to him at the meet.
The Delhi meet poses a roadblock to the Gandhis' solution to months of infighting, arrived at after a series of separate meetings with Mr Singh and Sidhu.
Over the week-end, Mr Singh had agreed to Mr Sidhu's elevation, but with a set of riders, which includes the party leadership involving him in key decisions ahead of next year's state elections.
He also wanted a free hand with the state cabinet reshuffle and the appointment of the three working presidents under Mr Sidhu. The reshuffle is expected to focus on the induction of Hindus and Dalits.
Sources said the Chief Minister has refused to meet Mr Sidhu till he offers a public apology before his appointment, and is sticking to the demand.
The rift between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu -- festering since the Congress won the 2017 state elections – is hobbling the party's re-election bid. The rebels want Mr Singh out, which the Congress Central leaders have opposed so far. But they have agreed to Mr Sidhu's elevation, which Mr Singh had been resistant to.