Punjab Congress rift: Panel meets party's former state chiefs, MPs

·2-min read

New Delhi, Jun 2 (PTI) The Congress committee set up to resolve factionalism in the party's Punjab unit on Wednesday met former state chiefs and some MPs, who are learnt to have raised issues related to governance in the state.

Sources said some leaders also demanded that the organisation in Punjab be set right ahead of the 2022 assembly elections.

Among the leaders who met the panel on Wednesday were former Congress Punjab chiefs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Pratap Singh Bajwa, Shamsher Singh Dullo, Mohinder Singh Kaypee and H S Hanspal.

The panel, chaired by Mallikarjun Kharge, also met party MPs Preneet Kaur, Manish Tewari and Jasbir Singh Gill 'Dimpa'.

The sources said the committee -- constituted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi -- will meet Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in a day or two. Amarinder Singh is likely to be in the national capital on Thursday, they said.

The three-member panel, which has former MP JP Agarwal and All India Congress Committee general secretary Harish Rawat as its members, was formed amid an open war of words between Amarinder Singh and his former cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Sidhu, who represents Amritsar East in the Punjab assembly, has been attacking his party's government in the state for failing to take action against those involved in the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 and subsequent firing incidents in Kotkapura in Faridkot.

The sources said former Punjab Congress chief Dullo is learnt to have sought the party's 'cleansing' and more accessibility of the chief minister.

Some party MLAs from Punjab also met the three-member panel and they include Balbir Sidhu, Raminder Awla, Nathu Ram, Kushaldeep Dhillon, Harjot Kamal, Sunil Datti, Fateh Bajwa, Kuljit Nagra, Parminder Pinki, Sukhpal Bhullar and Dalbir Singh Goldy.

Dullo is learnt to have backed for an overhaul of the party unit in the state and alleged that the party has been inactive ever since the Congress came to power in the state.

He reportedly told the panel that the Congress must be revived and traditional and loyal Congressmen be promoted.

The panel has been holding discussions with party leaders from the state since Monday and will wind up its deliberations by Friday. It will submit its report by the weekend.

Sources said the panel is tasked with not just ending factionalism but also accommodating Sidhu in the government.

Sidhu along with others may be elevated to rank of deputy chief minister. But all decisions will be taken only after consultations with the chief minister, they said. PTI SKC ANB ANB

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting