Punjab News

Punjab Congress crisis: ‘My stand is unchanged’, says Navjot Sidhu after meeting AICC panel

New Delhi, June 1

Days after attacking Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on lack of justice in the sacrilege issue, former state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu reiterated the same stand before the AICC panel formed to resolve internal factionalism in the state unit. 

The Chief Minister will meet the AICC panel on Thursday.

“My stand remains unchanged,” said Sidhu, who met the committee headed by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge here today for nearly two hours.Emerging from the deliberations, Sidhu appeared upbeat and confident and said, “Punjab, Punjabiyat and Punjabis will win. All anti-Punjab forces have to be defeated.”

The ex-minister who quit the state Cabinet in July 2019 after being divested of the local bodies portfolio for power has been in political wilderness ever since.

 

Of late, Sidhu has been publicly attacking the CM for absentee justice in the Bargari case that involved the desecration of Guru Granth Saheb.

The CM has, however, maintained that the SIT on the issue is continuing with its probe and the courts are seized of the matter.

“Upon being summoned by the Congress high command, I came here to appraise the AICC committee about Punjab. I have alerted the committee to the truth of Punjab and eloquently echoed the voice of the people of the state, of the grassroots, eloquently. The most important issue is that my previous stand on Punjab and issues concerning Punjab remains unchanged,” Sidhu said after meeting the committee, which has been tasked with respectably rehabilitating him considering his star appeal and vote catching abilities.

Sidhu said his top agenda is that the power of the people of Punjab — the taxes they pay — should return to the people in whatever form possible.

“Today I have shone light on the truth. Truth can be eclipsed but it cannot be defeated.

Punjab will win. We have to ensure the victory of Punjab. Every citizen of Punjab has to be made a participant in governance. We have defeat all anti Punjab forces,” said the MLA from East Amritsar adding: “Punjab, Punjabiyat and each Punjabi will win.”

The AICC panel is also meeting MLAs in batches of 25 daily and is expected to meet the chief minister later before submitting a report to the high command.

Sources say a clear statement from the CM about justice in the sacrilege matter could be a way out of the current stalemate and for Sidhu to return to active state politics after the panel’s deliberative process.

That explains PCC chief Sunil Jakhar’s statements of Monday that those behind the sacrilege would be brought to book and punished.

If the sacrilege issue is resolved, a consensus could be evolved with Sidhu returning to the state cabinet in a role acceptable to him and the CM.

 

The CM, sources say, is keen on unity in the election year, and may take one step forward to accommodate Sidhu.

It, however, remains to be seen whether Sidhu will also take a step forward if CM cedes some space for him.

 

The Congress leadership does not want a situation of Sidhu’s alienation after the party’s rout in recent state polls.