Punjab Congress Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu Resigns: One More Stump Down Before State Assembly Polls 2022

Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday resigned as president of the Congress in Punjab, few hours after new chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi assinged portfolios to his extened cabinet.

Just 10 days after Captain Amarinder Singh resigned as the state chief minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu suddenly quit the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee post, which shows a bitter political power tussle between them, a move that fuels the fire.

Navjot Singh Sidhu’s term lasted for a very short period; Sidhu was appointed as Punjab Congress chief on July 23 after months of clashes with Amarinder Singh.

For re-election in the 2022 Assembly polls, the endless hassle in the Punjab Congress unit could prove ominous for the party. The quick farewell from his tenure after just two-and-a-half months as the Punjab Congress chief indicates that his intention was to displace Amarinder from the post of CM. Insider of Congress party informed that Sidhu is disappointed that he was not nominated for the chief minister after Amarinder Singh resigned from his post.

Navjot Singh Sidhu submitted his resignation letter to party president Sonia Gandhi. He mentioned the reason for his resignation and informed that he would continue to serve Congress. But the compromise part mentioned in the letter was not elaborated in his letter to the party president Sonia Gandhi. Before quitting the post, it is confirmed that Sidhu did not meet the Gandhis.

navjot singh sidhu

According to party sources, Sidhu was displeased with the addition of two names in the recently established cabinet- Rana Gurjeet Singh and Aruna Chaudhary.

AICC general secretary KC Venugopal reacting to Sidhu’s resignation, said that reaction of Sidhu is emotional and soon everything will be okay in Punjab Congress. The decision of Congress high-command to raise Sidhu as the chief of the state unit of the party, was in a tender to end disunion ahead of the next year assembly elections, but today’s resignation has proved that the political disturbance in Punjab is not over yet.

The trouble started developing on Sunday when Sidhu’s resignation came amidst the furor over the recently expanded cabinet of chief minister Charanjeet Singh Channi, who appointed Punjab’s new Advocate General, Amar Preet Singh Deol, while Sidhu had suggested the name of lawyer DS Patwalia, and for the non-inclusion of some Members of Legislative Assembly.

Few MLAs opposed and wrote to Sidhu, saying that the “corrupt” Rana Gurjeet Singh should not be made minister since he has accusations of corruption in sand mining. However, Sidhu failed to stop Gurjeet Singh’s elevation as a minister and was upset with the appointment of Aruna Chaudhary made by Channi. Sidhu had instead been supporting a berth for the scheduled Caste department head Raj Kunar Chhabewal of Punjab Congress Committee.

Meanwhile, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were in Shimla and on their way to New Delhi. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will have a conversation with Navjot Singh Sidhu after the leader resigned from his post as Punjab Congress Chief. Indian national congress hasn’t accepted the resignation of Sidhu yet and is looking forward to arranging a meeting and resolve the issue.

Soon after Sidhu stepped down, Gulzar Inder Singh Chahal, the Treasurer of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committe, Cabinet Minister of Malerkotla MLA Razia Sultana have also resigned in solidarity with Navjot Singh Sidhu; Gautam Seth who was the general secretary of Punjab Congress also resigned.

AAP leader Raghav Chadha took the chance of criticizing Navjot Singh Sidhu after his resignation, saying Sidhu is the Rakhi Sawant of Punjab politics. Shiromani Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa started mocking Navjot Singh Sidhu after his resignation, saying Navjot Singh Sidhu is a human bomb and unguided missile, his ultimate goal was to become Chief Minister of Punjab.

After a few hours, Navjot Singh Sidhu again tweeted to answer in poetic way, those who were mocking him.

Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has called an emergency meeting with all his cabinet allies due to the ongoing political crisis in the state and will meet again on Wednesday morning in Chandigarh.

Soon after Sidhu submitted his resignation, ex-chief minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh on his way to Delhi for a private visit, tweeted “I told you so…He is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of Punjab.”

The clash between Singh and Sidhu started in 2019 and shot up this year after resigning.

Amarinder, emphasizing that he has been in politics for the last fifty-two years and been chief minister for nine and a half years, claimed that Sidhu’s friendly connection with Pakistan would prove costly to the party. Amarinder Singh informed that three weeks back he had offered his resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi, but she suggested continuing as CM. After the party called the MLAs for the meeting, Arminder Singh resigned on 18 September, saying that he felt humiliated when the party had an element of doubt in him and his ability.

As for his future,  he further informed that he has always an option and will tell after talking to his supporters and when the right time comes. There is the supposition that he has a meeting with home minister Amit Shah but there is no confirmation from both sides. An anonymous leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party said that the meeting will happen.

Ensuing the resignation of Singh, the Congress appointed Charanjit Singh Channi, believed to be a close advisor of Sidhu, as the Chief Minister.

Now, we have to wait and watch when the chaos of the political rivalry inside the Congress party will stop and how many twists and turns are ahead before the assembly polls in 2022.

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