Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, 79, was called to Delhi for certain clarifications by a 3-member panel set up by the party high command on its report on how to end factionalism within the party to fight together the Assembly election slated for early next year.
Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who heads the committee, wanted to hear from the Chief Minister on a solution acceptable to him concerning various issues and make it clear to him that the party may not declare him the chief ministerial candidate, the party sources said.
They said this was felt necessary to pacify rebel leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, 57, a former cricketer and a former minister, who has fallen out with the CM and insisted on being made the Punjab Congress President to lead the party in the Assembly election which was unacceptable to the CM.
The party sources said Amarinder had a meeting with the committee, which sought clarifications from him on dissent of many MLAs and ministers over his decisions.
They said the committee told him that Congress President Sonia Gandhi would like to hear him out after the committee submits its second report to her. Amarinder had met the committee early this month and gave it a point-wise rejoinder to what the dissidents complained.
Kharge clarified Sidhu has not been summoned this time since “he has given his viewpoint in the last meeting and I don’t want to anything on that.”
He clarified that “we will fight the elections under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.”
“We have called Captain Amarinder for some clarifications. If anyone has any kind of issues, the High Command will try to find the solution,” Kharge said, adding that his doors are always open to entertain the views of the party leaders from Punjab on how to strengthen the party for the next election.