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Navjot Singh Sidhu opens new innings as Punjab Congress chief

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is with newly-appointed State Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu in Chandigarh on July 23, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Navjot Singh Sidhu, the newly-appointed president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, on Friday formally took charge at a ceremony, with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who had expressed his displeasure at Mr. Sidhu’s elevation, joining the event and congratulating him.

On July 18, Mr. Sidhu was elevated as State party chief along with four working presidents by the All-India Congress Committee.

Capt. Amarinder had been maintaining that he will not meet Mr. Sidhu until the latter publicly apologises for his personal derogatory social media attacks against him. However, he met Mr. Sidhu during a ‘tea’ hosted by him, even though Mr. Sidhu didn’t tender any public apology, ahead of the official function where Mr. Sidhu took charge of the party affairs.

At the event, Capt. Amarinder congratulated the new PCC team, including Mr. Sidhu. He said “... we will now move together in politics..We have to think and work towards welfare of Punjab... not just Punjab but the country... Punjab shares a long border with Pakistan... China, Pakistan and now Taliban in Afghanistan, they will all come and sit at Kashmir’s border, Punjab’s border...We need people together.”

‘Will resolve people’s issues’

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Sidhu said the purpose of his post was to resolve the issues of people. “The Congress is united... today, all workers in Punjab Congress have become party chief, and there’s no difference between a leader and workers.. My aim is to work towards giving the power of people back to them. I’ll work towards the fulfilment of the party’s 18-point agenda,” he asserted.

He claimed that position for him was not an issue. “The agitating farmers sitting on the borders of Delhi, protesting qualified teachers, doctors with problems, securing justice in sacrilege cases, catching the big fish involved in drugs trade etc. are the real issues,” he said, adding that he cared only about the welfare of Punjab. “Punjab will win-Punjabis will win,” he stressed.

Sukhbir hits out at Congress

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal was quick to hit out at the Congress. “Was this a Coronation or a vote of no confidence by @INCPunjab against its own govt, proposed by the old president and seconded by the new? With 6 months to poll in Punjab, did anyone hear any Congressman sounding proud of their govt? All one heard was a non-performance song,” he tweeted.

Former Minister and senior SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema alleged both Mr. Sidhu and Capt. Amarinder have deceived the people of the State by not fulfilling the election promises. “It is now becoming increasingly clear that the quarrel between Sidhu and the Chief Minister was a stage-managed one to divert the attention of people. An effort is being made to save the party’s sinking ship by effecting a change in the PCC president and a two-month-long drama was also played out with this in mind,” he said at a press conference.

The Aam Aadmi Party’s leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema said Mr. Sidhu admitted today that their (Congress) government could not do anything for Punjab in the last four and a half years.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 9:02:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/navjot-singh-sidhu-opens-new-innings-as-punjab-congress-chief/article35484016.ece

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