New Delhi, April 12, 2021 –
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu’s return to the Punjab cabinet hangs in balance as there is no indication of this happening from Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, despite the efforts of the Congress leadership and General Secretary in-charge Harish Rawat.
Captain Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu have met twice but there has been no breakthrough from both sides. Sources say Sidhu wants his old portfolio back which Amarinder isn’t willing to concede.
Sidhu last met Singh on March 17. A day after the meeting, when the Punjab CM was asked about Sidhu’s rehabilitation, he said: “Everyone wants him to be part of our team.”
He was hopeful that Sidhu, whom he had known since the latter was a kid and with whom he had a very cordial meetings even on Wednesday, would soon take a decision on joining back.
Sidhu on Monday tweeted in Hindi: “Though my wishes are not fulfilled but I always try with full heart”, while praising the farmers agitation continuing at Delhi borders ,”The youth has redeemed Punjab’s image, earned respect and transformed public perception from Udta Punjab to Charda Punjab! Must invest in our future, protect them, in these tough times … Exuberance of youth and wisdom of Union leaders is a perfect combination for the “Morcha’s” success.”
The Congress Central leadership is keen in accommodating the ex-cricketer who has been star campaigner for the party.
Since Harish Rawat is recuperating from Covid after being discharged from hospital, more time may be taken on organisational issues.
Even as Sidhu hopes the organisation will intervene, the party has started restructuring of the state unit.
Sidhu had resigned from the Punjab cabinet in July 2019 after being stripped of a key portfolio. He was in-charge of Local Bodies but was then shifted to the Power Department.
The simmering tension between the two leaders had reached a boiling point when Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur was denied a party ticket for the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, sources said.
Congress state in-charge Harish Rawat had met both Amarinder Singh and Sidhu last week to hammer out a solution. (Agency)