Former cabinet minister Navjot Sidhu with AICC interim chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi.
Amid speculation that former Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was in touch with political strategist Prashant Kishor, AICC interim president Sonia Gandhi called him for a meeting in Delhi that took place on Wednesday.
In a statement, Sidhu said he was called by the “party high command” to Delhi and was given a “patient hearing”.
“I was summoned to Delhi by party high command. I met Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi on February 25 for 40 minutes at her residence. On Wednesday, I met the Congress president and the general secretary (Priyanka Gandhi) at 10 Janpath for more than an hour. I was given a patient hearing and apprised them of the prevailing situation in Punjab along with the road-map to the resurrection and revival of the state back to its pristine glory,” said Sidhu, adding that this was the road map he had been insisting on for the past few years in the Cabinet and public domain. Though Sidhu did not personally come before the media, his aides circulated his statement and his picture with Gandhis. Sidhu, who has been staying away from political scene after his resignation from the Punjab Cabinet on July 5, had not campaigned for the party in Delhi Assembly elections even after the party named him the star campaigner. This gave credence to the reports that he was in touch with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) through Kishor. His close aide, former hockey Olympian and Congress MLA Pargat Singh has been vociferously reminding Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of his promises to the residents of the state. Social media pages related to Sidhu suddenly got active after AAP’s victory in Delhi.
The Congress has been watching these developments closely given the fact that he was brought to party fold by none other than Kishor and his joining AAP could make both of them a formidable force.
In the backdrop of this narrative, Sonia Gandhi held a meeting with Sidhu, who has been staying away from Budget Session of the Punjab Assembly.
While no Congress leader was willing to speak on Sidhu’s meeting, PPCC president Sunil Kumar Jakhar called the meeting a “welcome step.”
“In the days when everybody is looking at Sonia Gandhi to lead the coalition of all opposition parties to take on fascist government in Centre, her calling Sidhu for a discussion shows she is preparing to make use of inhouse arsenal and ensuring to make use of all the resources. Sidhu is a very popular leader. People follow him. He can be used for his oratrorial skills.”
He added: “Also, within Punjab, a united face of the party is much better. The central high command is monitoring the situation and taking all necessary steps. Through this meeting, she has taken the initiative of marshalling the resources within the party.”