Punjab Congress crisis: Amid infighting, CM Amarinder Singh reaches party president Sonia Gandhi's residence
Punjab Congress crisis: Amid infighting, CM Amarinder Singh reaches party president Sonia Gandhi's residence

Amid reports of factionalism in the Punjab Congress, State Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday met party president Sonia Gandhi at the latter's residence in the national capital. Earlier in the day, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had met Sonia Gandhi.

Punjab Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka said the "discussions about reshuffling the cabinet or reshuffling in State Congress will be addressed" in the meeting. "We will work towards achieving our goal of 2022 elections," he added.

The meeting assumes significance as the party high command has been trying to resolve the internal rift in the Punjab unit of the Congress and there is talk of its revamp, with just months to go for the Assembly polls.

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has been at loggerheads with the chief minister, attacking him on 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.

There is some speculation that Sidhu may get an important role in the planned revamp.

A few days ago, Sidhu had met Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Delhi.

On June 22, Singh had appeared before a three-member AICC panel headed by leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, set up to resolve the infighting in the Punjab Congress.

But he returned to Chandigarh without an audience with either Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. However, a senior Congress leader clarified that Singh had not sought time to meet the top leadership of the party.

The panel had then asked Singh to deliver on 18 pending promises, including on the 2015 sacrilege issue and power purchase agreements signed by the previous government.

The panel had earlier met other party leaders and submitted a report to the party high command.

Rahul Gandhi has also met several party leaders, including legislators from Punjab, for their views on what is needed to strengthen the party ahead of the assembly polls.

On June 23, AICC general secretary and party's Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat had said Sonia Gandhi would resolve all issues related to the state unit by early July and a united party would fight the next assembly elections.

For the uninitiated, Punjab is crucial for Congress as it is one of the few states where the party is in power and the outcome will have an impact on the party's prospects outside the state as well. The Assembly elections in the state are scheduled to take place next year.

(With PTI inputs)

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal