Congress high command steps in to douse Punjab fire 


Express News Service

CHANDIGARH:  Infighting in Punjab’s ruling Congress party over the sacrilege case appears to have calmed on Thursday, following an intervention by the Congress high command. According to sources, the party high command has asked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh not to take any actions against the party members who have been critical of him over the issue of justice in the sacrilege case and the subsequent police shooting. The party high command has also asked those who have been raising their voice against the CM over the issue to refrain from further attacks. 

Sources said Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, former party president Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have taken independent feedback on the situation. Rahul Gandhi is expected to hold a meeting with all Congress MLAs and MPs of the state. He is also expected to meet the 37 party leaders who lost in last year’s Assembly elections. Besides, Rahul may meet the party’s state president and district leaders.

Sources said Harish Rawat, who is the Congress in-charge of Punjab, will submit a report to the party high command on the situation after meeting CM Amarinder and the MLAs who’ve raised their voices over the sacrilege case. Sources said the party has not been able to make a final decision on who’ll takeover as the next state president because of infighting.

While one group wants Navjot Singh Sidhu to replace Sunil Jakhar as the party’s state president, this is being strongly opposed by the Amarinder camp. With next year’s Assembly elections fast approaching, the person who now becomes the party’s state president will have a considerable influence over allotting party tickets. Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and MP Ravneet Singh Bittu want a change in the leadership. They have asked that someone with decades of experience be made the head of the state unit.

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