Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will not meet Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has recently been appointed as chief of the Congress' state unit, until he "publicly apologises" for his social media attacks against the CM, Singh's media advisor Raveen Thukral said on Tuesday night.
"Reports of @sherryontop seeking time to meet @capt_amarinder are totally false. No time has been sought whatsoever. No change in stance... CM won’t meet #NavjotSinghSidhu till he publicly apologises for his personally derogatory social media attacks against him," Thukral tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Punjab minister Brahm Mohindra also ruled out any personal meeting with Navjot Singh Sidhu till he resolves his issues with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
He said this on a day when Sidhu went to Amritsar, where he got a rousing welcome from his supporters and Congress workers.
These were the first such remarks by any minister after Sidhu was elevated to the key post, indicating that the crisis in the Punjab Congress is still not over.
In a statement issued, Mohindra said the party high-command's decision to appoint Sidhu as the state Congress chief is welcome.
"However, I will not meet him (Sidhu) till he meets the chief minister and resolves his issues with him," he said.
Mohindra said Singh is the leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) and he is duty-bound to follow him.
Besides being the CLP leader, the chief minister also heads the cabinet of which he is a part, the senior Congress leader said, making it clear that unless Sidhu sorts out all issues with Singh, he will not meet him personally.
"We have a collective responsibility and hence, I would refrain from meeting the newly-appointed (party) president till issues between him and the chief minister are resolved," Mohindra said.
Singh last week was learnt to have told All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Harish Rawat that he will not meet Sidhu until he tenders an apology for his "derogatory" tweets against him.
The suspense over a possible truce between Sidhu and Singh continues as there has been no reaction from the chief minister over the Amritsar East MLA's elevation to the post of Punjab Congress chief.
Before going to Amritsar, Sidhu had been calling on ministers and legislators in Chandigarh to mobilise support.
He had already met several ministers, including Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Charanjit Singh Channi, Razia Sultana, Sukhbinder Sarkaria, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.
Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal has also congratulated Sidhu on becoming the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC).
For the uninitiated, Sidhu has been at loggerheads with the chief minister, attacking him on several issues like the alleged delay in the completion of a probe into the 2015 desecration of Sikh texts and the subsequent police firing on protesters.
(With PTI inputs)