Punjab Cong crisis: Sidhu appears before AICC panel, says his stance remains unchanged

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New Delhi, Jun 1 (PTI) Truth can be suppressed but never defeated, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu said Tuesday after he appeared before a three-member committee set up by the party to address factionalism in the Punjab unit, and asserted his stand remains unchanged.

Sidhu has been at loggerheads with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and has publicly attacked him over an SIT report on the sacrilege issue in the state.

'I came here on the call of the high command and appraised them about the state of affairs in the party. I have brought the voice of the people of Punjab from the grassroots level to the party high command,' he said.

Emerging after the over 1.5-hour meeting, he told reporters, 'My stand is and will remain the same and unchanged. Punjab's democratic right that goes to the government must return to the people in any form.' The three-member panel formed to end factionalism within the party ahead of the Punjab assembly election is headed by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and comprises AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former MP J P Aggarwal.

'I have also the truth before the committee. The truth can be suppressed but can never be defeated. The voice of Punjab's truth and its rights have been conveyed to the high command...We have to defeat all anti-Punjab forces,' Sidhu said.

He said his aim is that the power of people of Punjab and the taxes they pay, should return to them in whichever way.

'Power of the People must return to the People!! Every Punjabi must be made shareholder in Punjab's Progress ... Jittega Punjab, Jittegi Punjabiyat, Jittega har Punjabi (Punjab shall win, Punjabiyat shall win, every Punjab shall win),' he said on Twitter.

His remarks come days after he attacked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for allegedly not giving justice in the sacrilege issue involving the alleged desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in Bargari.

The former Punjab minister had quit the Amarinder Singh cabinet in July 2019 after being divested of the local bodies portfolio and has been in political wilderness since.

The AICC committee has also met party MLAs since Monday in batches of 25. It will also be meeting the chief minister too before submitting its report to the party chief.

Sources said the panel is part of the high command's way of accommodating Sidhu back in Punjab ahead of assembly elections and end all kind of factionalism.

Sources added that Sidhu could be given a ministerial berth and be made deputy chief minister, along with another Hindu and Dalit face. PTI SKC TIR TIR