Other States

Amarinder in Delhi for another round of talks with AICC panel

Amarinder Singh  

Punjab Chief Minister Captain (Retd) Amarinder Singh arrived in Delhi on Monday to meet a panel of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) for resolving the factionalism in the State.

He will hold talks with the panel comprising Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, AICC general secretary (Punjab) Harish Rawat and J.P. Aggarwal on Tuesday morning for the second time in the past two weeks.

Insiders say party workers and leaders are worried that the ongoing squabble between the Chief Minister and his detractor, Navjot Singh Sidhu, will dent the party’s electoral prospects in 2022.

The damage

The longer the stand-off continues, higher would be the damage that the party will have to bear, some leaders argued.

Last week, the panel submitted a report to party president Sonia Gandhi with suggestions to resolve the infighting in the State unit. It is learnt to have suggested that Mr. Sidhu needs to be suitably accommodated, triggering speculation that the cricketer-turned-politician could be made the Deputy Chief Minister.

“The issue needs to be resolved without any further delay. Whatever decision has to be taken, it should be taken immediately. The panel has heard the viewpoints of everyone, and the high command should now take a final decision. Enough consultations have taken place, it’s time to sort out the issue,” Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar told The Hindu.

“We need to ensure that the party jumps into the electoral fray unitedly. The time is running out and we need to focus on the coming Assembly elections,” he added.

Far from resolution, factionalism seems to have intensified. The possibility of Mr Sidhu’s political rehabilitation prompted a realignment between the Chief Minister and Rajya Sabha member, Partap Singh Bajwa, once an arch rival of Capt. Amarinder.

Govt jobs offer

While this new equation resulted in the State government offering government jobs to the sons of two MLAs (Fatehjang Singh Bajwa and Rakesh Pandey), Mr. Jakhar called it “ill-advised” and asked it to be reversed.

Facing a backlash, Mr. Bajwa on Monday asked his brother and associate’s son to voluntarily give up the the governments job.

Mr. Sidhu, on the other hand, tweeted to make it clear that he was not hankering after any post but only in the welfare of the State by devising a “Punjab model of development”.

“Even if the issue is now resolved, the bitterness is bound to remain there among those leaders who have exchanged sharp words against each other in the past few days,” said a leader, who claimed that the infighting had made it lose the edge it had gained during the farmers’ agitation.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 3:13:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/amarinder-in-delhi-for-another-round-of-talks-with-aicc-panel/article34887976.ece

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