Sulking Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu today met with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and tweeted a photo with her amid speculation set off by Rahul Gandhi’s “no meeting” claim yesterday.
“Had a long meeting with @priyankagandhi Ji,” Mr Sidhu wrote in the tweet. According to his team, the meeting lasted four hours.
Yesterday, asked about Mr Sidhu’s team claiming he was to meet with the Gandhis in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi had said no meeting was scheduled.
“There is no meeting. I don’t know what fuss you are making…,” the Congress MP told reporters who spoke to him as he was leaving his home in Delhi.
The details of Mr Sidhu’s meeting with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are not known yet.
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) June 30, 2021
Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi have stepped in to try and bring the party’s feuding leaders in Punjab together ahead of elections next year. Mr Sidhu is among Congress leaders who have revolted against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Punjab.
Rahul Gandhi has reportedly met several leaders from Punjab over the past few days.
A panel of three Congress leaders tasked with taking feedback from MLAs, MPs and leaders from Punjab and recommend a solution has called for changes in the state government as well as party unit ahead of the assembly polls.
Mr Sidhu, who quit the Punjab Cabinet after an alleged downgrade in his role in 2019, has been locked in a prolonged dispute with Amarinder Singh.
His recent attacks on the Chief Minister involve the Punjab government’s legal setback in a 2015 case involving the desecration of the Sikh religious text Guru Granth Sahib and police firing during peaceful protests. Mr Sidhu and others ranged against Mr Singh say his government did not do enough to bring justice in the case.
Last week, Mr Sidhu told NDTV he was ready to work with Mr Singh but only if the Chief Minister met promises made to the people before the last assembly elections.
Mr Singh has slammed Mr Sidhu over his relentless offensive and has complained to the party leadership about what he calls “total indiscipline” by the cricketer-turned-politician.
Mr Sidhu has refuted allegations that he is damaging the party in one of the few states where it was in power on its own steam. “Is it damaging if you address issues like sacrilege? Every MLA is raising this issue. All 78 MLAs are with me,” he questioned last week.
On June 22, the Chief Minister appeared before the Congress panel in Delhi but returned to Chandigarh without any meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi, as was widely expected.
That is why Mr Sidhu’s claim about meeting with the Gandhis had surprised many in the Congress.