Punjab Congress issues will be resolved by early July: Harish Rawat

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New Delhi, Jun 23 (PTI) Congress president Sonia Gandhi will resolve all issues related to the Punjab unit by early July and a united party will fight the next assembly elections in the state, AICC general secretary Harish Rawat said Wednesday after a meeting with Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi, the former Congress president, also met a number of Punjab leaders and is learnt to have discussed various issues thread-bare on how to strengthen the party in the state.

Among the leaders whom he met include former PCC chief Pratap Singh Bajwa and sitting PCC president Sunil Jakhar, besides some ministers and MLAs.

Rawat said the three-member AICC panel on resolving the Punjab Congress infighting had met Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday and asked him to prepare a roadmap on 18 issues that are pending action on the part of the state government, including action against the land and transport mafia as well as against those involved in the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib.

The chief minister left for Chandigarh Wednesday without meeting Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi.

The Punjab Congress is facing factionalism with its leader Navjot Singh Sidhu going against the chief minister publicly.

Rawat said the AICC has set a deadline for the implementation of various pending promises and the same will be done by the state government as per plan.

On Navjot Singh Sidhu, he said the former Punjab minister will also be called to Delhi for a discussions with the panel and all issues would be sorted out soon.

Rawat said he has taken note of the interviews and public statements made by Sidhu.

'We have sought all his statements and will examine them. Whatever advice or direction is to be given, it will be given,' he told reporters here.

Asked whether Sidhu would be called again before the panel, he said 'Yes, he will be', without specifying the time.

'I am confident that Congress president Sonia Gandhi will decide on all issues relating to Punjab by the first week of July or by July 10,' he said.

He said Rahul Gandhi is also meeting many leaders after a comprehensive report was handed over to the Congress president on the matter.

Rawat said Amarinder Singh met the Committee, which had sought details of many promises stated in the party manifesto and the status of their implementation.

The AICC has set a deadline for implementation of various other promises and there are 18 such issues that the party has asked the CM to implement, he said, adding that the record of Punjab is good as 95 percent promises have been implemented.

On the Bagarhi Granth Sahib sacrilege incident, Rawat said, 'We respect the sentiments of people of Punjab and we want that the issue be resolved as per law. Action is being taken on the issue of Guru Granth Sahib and more action is being taken.' He also said that the Congress is proposing to give 200 unit free power to urban poor as tariff concession for each family in urban areas, besides providing SC scholarships and loan-waiver for SCs and poor, apart from regularising the land ownership of the poor.

'The Punjab government has been told to implement this within time limit. The government has also been told to take steps to check the transport mafia and sand mafia. Work is on it and state government will launch an offensive against them soon,' he said.

On the issue sons of MLAs given jobs, Rawat said the MLAs have thanked the government for the offer, but are not accepting the jobs as per reports.

Bajwa said after the half-an-hour meeting with Rahul Gandhi that they discussed all issues relating to Punjab theadbare. 'The high command is aware of all the realities and ground realities.' PCC chief Sunil Jakhar said discussions were held on how to strengthen the party and settle the differences of opinion among leaders.

He said the seriousness with which Rahul Gandhi is meeting party leaders shows the comeback of the Congress in the country will be heralded from Punjab.

'Changes for the sake of changes will not be done, but for strengthening the party,' he said on the impending reshuffle in the Punjab Congress, and added that these are symptoms of the problem beneath.

'When the Congress stands together and united, the Congress wins. I am confident that things will be resolved soon,' he said.

Jakhar said Sidhu is one among the 80 MLAs of the Congress and had his own issues.

On the chief minister, he said, some 'wrong people' are getting works done from the CM and 'they are putting the office of chief minister in a spot'. PTI SKC SKC TIR TIR

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