Congress “Plan B” For Punjab After Navjot Sidhu Shocker: 10 Points

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Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as the Punjab Congress chief on Tuesday. (File)

Chandigarh/New Delhi:
A day after Navjot Singh Sidhu’s shock resignation as Punjab Congress chief, the party has reached out to him but he has apparently refused to budge. “I will fight for truth till the last breath,” Mr Sidhu said in a video this morning.

Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to the Punjab Congress crisis:

  1. The Congress has reportedly launched “Plan B” to install a new Punjab chief. The party is said to be considering two-time MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra or party MP Ravneet Singh Bittu for its Punjab unit chief, with Navjot Sidhu refusing to review his decision.

  2. Congress MLAs and ministers showed up at Mr Sidhu’s home this morning in an attempt to placate him and persuade him to take back his resignation. So far, the efforts have failed.

  3. The Congress, which was earlier sending it Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat to speak with Mr Sidhu, has reportedly now tasked new Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi with the outreach effort.

  4. Mr Channi will address a press conference in the afternoon and sources say he “may announce” something related to the Congress’s 18-point agenda for the polls. The unfinished agenda was apparently among Mr Sidhu’s sore points.

  5. Mr Sidhu was also upset about the cabinet changes made by new Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, who was, ironically, his man. Though Mr Sidhu was widely seen to act as “Super Chief Minister” when it came to some decisions, he felt overruled in some controversial appointments. He was also angry about key posts given to officials linked to the “sacrilege” case.

  6. Soon after Mr Sidhu’s resignation, a state minister and three office bearers also quit in solidarity with him. “Nothing to worry, everything will be alright,” Congress leader KC Venugopal said.

  7. In the middle of the Punjab Congress mess, former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who is in Delhi, has kept the party guessing about his next move amid a strong buzz that he has lined up a meeting with senior BJP leaders. Reports suggest Amarinder Singh, who cited his repeated “humiliation” while quitting as Punjab Chief Minister on September 18, may meet with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda. So far, the Captain has denied that his visit is anything but “personal”.

  8. Amarinder Singh yesterday flung an “I-told-you-so” at the Gandhis as he labelled Mr Sidhu as “unstable and dangerous for Punjab”.

  9. Mr Sidhu’s move just two months after he took over as Punjab Congress chief has stunned the Gandhis, who had taken a big risk while placing the party’s Punjab unit in his hands and forcing Amarinder Singh to resign, just four months before the election.

  10. The Amarinder Singh-Navjot Sidhu feud escalated about a year ago, when the Congress was still in a position of strength in Punjab. Today, the party has descended into chaos at a time its rival Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is aggressively campaigning for the Punjab polls. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is visiting Punjab today.



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