Amid the escalating tension within the Punjab Congress and putting days of speculation to rest, former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief on Sunday.
Congress also appointed four working presidents for the Punjab unit — Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel and Kuljit Singh Nagra.
Earlier on Sunday, Sidhu arrived in Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s home constituency, Patiala, to meet party MLAs and garner support for his elevation. Sidhu met Shutrana MLA Nirmal Singh Shutrana and later went to Ghanaur MLA Madan Lal Jalalpur’s house along with several MLAs. Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa was already present at Jalalpur’s house.
Jalalpur, who is considered close to Patiala MP and Amarinder’s wife Preneet Kaur, hosted Sidhu along with his workers. Jalalpur told the media, “I got a call from Randhawa that Sidhu would be visiting me. I have organised tea for him.”
Sidhu’s camp also released his pictures with at least 30 MLAs whom he had met on Saturday. “The number is growing,” said an aide of Sidhu.
Meanwhile, 11 MLAs on Sunday came out in support of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh whom they called the “tallest leader of masses” and appealed to the party high command not to let him down.
Bajwa, a strident critic of the chief minister, called on Amarinder Singh at his residence on a day when Sidhu held a series of meetings with Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar and several MLAs, including the CM’s loyalists. Besides Rajya Sabha member Bajwa, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana K P Singh and Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi also met the chief minister.
“Punjab Speaker Rana K P Singh, Rajya Sabha MP and former Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa and cabinet minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi call on Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh at his residence,” tweeted the CM’s media advisor while sharing a photograph of these leaders sitting together.
Congress MP Manish Tewari retweeted the photo and said it was good to see Bajwa and Amarinder together and noted that the Rajya Sabha MP and the chief minister would make a good team ahead.