No meeting planned with Sidhu, says Rahul Gandhi

Tussle in Punjab Congress unit spills over.

June 30, 2021 04:29 am | Updated 04:29 am IST - New Delhi

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday denied that he was scheduled to meet former Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

“I don't know what fuss you all are making,” Mr. Gandhi told presspersons outside 10 Janpath, the residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Though he avoided a direct answer on the meeting taking place on Wednesday, a source told The Hindu that it will take place.

On Monday, Mr. Sidhu’s team had claimed that the cricketer-turned-politician would be meeting Mr. Gandhi and his sister and party general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Delhi. During Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s Delhi visit last week, he met only a three-member panel of the All India Congress Committee and not the Gandhis.

For several weeks, the bitter in the party’s Punjab unit factionalism has played out with the AICC panel summoning all the Congress MLAs from Punjab besides Mr. Sidhu and Capt. Amarinder.

While the AICC report is learnt to have suggested that Mr Sidhu should be suitably accommodated, the Chief Minister was asked to show visible action not only with regard to the 2015 sacrilege issue — when the holy Guru Granth Sahib was desecrated at Bargari (Faridkot) — but also against the liquor, sand and transport mafias operating in the State.

Last Saturday, one of Mr Sidhu's tweets indicated that a compromise could be in the works.

Responding to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Sukhbir Singh Badal’s allegation that Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh busy implementing Mr Gandhi’s instructions to implicate Akali leaders in false cases, Mr Sidhu tweeted, “6 Yrs since sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.. No Justice in 2 yrs of your rule.. No Justice in the following 4.5 yrs.. Today, New SIT [Special Investigation Team] inches closer to Justice for Punjab’s Soul & you cry of political interferance.. Political interference was that which delayed Justice by 6 yrs”.

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