Punjab CM Amarinder Singh softens stance, invites Navjot Sidhu for chai ahead of tomorrow's elevation ceremony

·3-min read
Navjot Singh Sidhu (left) and Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh (File photo)
Navjot Singh Sidhu (left) and Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh (File photo)

New Delhi [India], July 22 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has softened his stance towards newly appointed Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu by deciding to attend the latter's elevation ceremony on Friday and has also extended a tea invitation to the cricketer-turned-politician with whom he had been engaged in a bitter face-off for the past few months.

The first overture came from Sidhu, who invited the Chief Minister for his elevation ceremony and Singh responded with an invite for a tea for all party leaders and MLAs to be held at the Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh before they proceed to the party office.

Sidhu had written a letter to the Captain inviting him to attend the program to be held at 11 am tomorrow. Kuljeet Nagra, the new working president of Punjab Congress, met Captain and handed over the invitation letter to him.

On behalf of the Captain, all MLAs, MPs and senior leaders have been invited for tea at Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh at 10 am on Friday. The chief minister and Sidhu will likely to meet tomorrow for the first time since the escalation of tension in the party.

What worked towards patching up things between the two leaders was the direct intervention of party high command Sonia Gandhi who, according to sources, had taken the initative and called up all the MPs and asked them to work together. After this things started quickly began to fall into place and the party's Punjab in charge Harish Rawat was tasked with stitching together a rapprochement between the two leaders who had been at loggerheads for quite some time now.

Pargat Singh took over the command from the Sidhu camp, while Brahm Singh Mohindra started talking on behalf of the captain.

After meeting party president Sonia Gandhi, Amarinder Singh had said that he would accept the decision of the high command. However, Singh who was hurt by Sidhu's disparaging attacks on Twitter, had put a condition that the former cricketer would have to apologize publicly.

Now although there has been no public apology, the chief minister seemed to have softened his stance.

Speaking to ANI, Harish Rawat said: "Under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh, Congress will unitedly welcome the new president tomorrow. Congress MPs will be present"

The CM's media advisor Raveen Thukral tweeted that from Punjab Bhawan everybody would proceed to the state Congress office to attend the taking over ceremony of the new team of Punjab Congress.

In the invitation sent to the Captain for the taking over ceremony, Sidhu wrote that "I do not have any personal agenda, only the agenda of public interest".

Describing the Captain as the oldest member of the house, Sidhu urged him to come to the ceremony and bless the new team.

In a letter to Amarinder Singh, Sidhu also said that "You and all are aware of my resolve and commitment to fulfill the 18 point agenda set by the high command in the interest of Punjab issues and the people of Punjab. I stand firm in my resolve. I will be."

The invitation letter to the Captain also bears signatures of about 60 Congress MLAs, which is being considered as Sidhu's show of strength directly in front of the Captain.

Earlier, before and after the announcement of the state president late on Sunday night, Sidhu had been going from house to house meeting party MLAs and leaders.

On Wednesday, he also offered prayers at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, during which a large number of Congress MLAs and several ministers of the Captain's government were present with Sidhu. It is believed that amid the softening of the captain's stance, there is support for Sidhu.

While things appear to have patched up in the party, suspense still remains on whether Sidhu will really get the Captain's blessings in the coming days considering that in the past, Sidhu has leveled all the allegations against the Captain including complicity with the Badal family. (ANI)

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