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Updated on: Thursday, June 10, 2021, 07:18 PM IST

Navjot Singh Sidhu can't be ignored: AICC panel, constituted to end factionalism in Punjab Congress, submits report to Sonia Gandhi

Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu  | File Image

Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu | File Image

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A three-member AICC (All India Congress Committee) panel set up to end factionalism in the Punjab Congress submitted its report to party chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday, reported news ageny ANI.

Reportedly, the panel chaired by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and comprising AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former MP JP Aggarwal has suggested accommodating all sections, castes and regions in the revamped party unit.

Reportedly, the AICC panel has not recommended the removal of the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, however, the panel said that former state Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu cannot be ignored. "He should be accommodated in State unit either as Deputy CM, or chairman of poll campaign committee," ANI quoted sources as saying. "The Committee recommends it to fill vacant posts in state organization & decide on State president," it added.

Meanwhile, Amarimder Singh is averse to Sidhu being elevated to the post of Deputy CM but is ready to accommodate him in the cabinet, news agency IANS quoted sources as saying.

Last week, the AICC panel met all the stakeholders in the party. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also met the three-member Congress panel. After the meeting Amarinder Singh had said, "The meeting was to discuss the preparations for the Assembly elections scheduled early next year. These are our inner party discussions and I don't propose to share them with you."

For the uninitiated, the rift in the Punjab Congress had surfaced after Navjot Singh Sidhu along with Pargat Singh opened a front against the Chief Minister. Due to this, the AICC was forced to constitute a committee to listen to the grievances of its Punjab leaders, after a group led by Sidhu suggested a change in the state leadership. However, sources told IANS that there has been no discussion on replacing Amarinder Singh.

The Congress wants to pacify Sidhu and retain him in the party by making some minor adjustments, without going for a major shake-up, sources said.

The Assembly elections in Punjab will be held in February or March 2022. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa will also go to polls with Punjab early next year.

(With PTI and IANS inputs)

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Published on: Thursday, June 10, 2021, 07:18 PM IST
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