Punjab Congress President Sunil Jakhar has called for a meeting of district presidents and MLAs tomorrow to end at the earliest the infighting involving Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and rebel MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu, sources have said.
In a statement released here on Sunday, Mr Jakhar said the MLAs and district presidents would pass a resolution stating that any decision taken by the high command on Punjab would be acceptable to the entire state unit, PTI reported.
This resolution will then be sent to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
“Tomorrow’s meeting is to impress upon the party high command to resolve the crisis as soon as possible. Though Jakhar knows he is going to lose his position,” sources said.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, whose rebellion against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh sparked the crisis in the state unit, met Mr Jakhar yesterday.
The cricketer-turned-politician has been rounding up MLAs in Punjab even as several party MPs are rallying behind the Chief Minister in a bid to block Mr Sidhu’s elevation as state Congress chief.
The meet, coming close on the heels of Mr Sidhu’s meeting yesterday with the state Congress chief, has raised questions on whether Mr Jakhar plans a show support for him there.
The crisis in the party’s sate unit, which began over other issues, has now become focused on Mr Sidhu’s promotion. A seeming agreement reached on Saturday, following several meetings, has now evidently disappeared with both camps trying to fortify their positions.
Over the weekend, Mr Singh had agreed to Mr Sidhu’s elevation, but with a set of riders, which includes the party leadership involving him in key decisions ahead of next year’s state elections. Sources said the Chief Minister refused to meet him till he offered a public apology before his appointment.
Party veterans aren’t happy with the central leadership’s move to promote Mr Sidhu, deemed a “BJP reject”, sources said. Mr Sidhu, meanwhile, has focused on Patiala, the Chief Minster’s home turf, where he met around 30 MLAs yesterday alone.
The rift between the two could be a major hurdle in Congress’s bid to return to power in Punjab next year.