Those who sided with Sidhu criticized Amarinder for refusing to meet with the new head of the CCP unless the latter offered a public apology for his “derogatory” tweets against the CM. They advised the CM to agree to an unconditional truce. Amarinder had opposed Sidhu’s appointment as chairman of the Punjab CCP.
Sidhu camp claimed there were 62 (Congress has 80 MLA) Congressional MLA including Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Tript Singh Bajwa, Sunil Jakhar and Raja Waring, present when he went to the Golden Temple. The group then offered prayers at the Durgiana and Ram Tirath Temple, and paid tribute at Jallianwala Bagh.
At the Durgiana temple, Sidhu, in a brief media interaction, said that he was “happy with what he received and that his well-being was in the well-being of Punjab.”
With the battle lines drawn, party members are concerned about the impact the fight could have on the functioning of the state government. Given the MLA boasting on Wednesday and some ministers by Sidhu, there are rumors that the Sidhu camp may approach AICC president Sonia Gandhi to replace Amarinder with Sidhu. A tweet on Wednesday for the PPCC The chief seemed to imply this: “Winds of change: from the people, by the people, for the people, from Chandigarh to Amritsar.”
Punjab Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said: “Captain Amarinder appears to be defying orders from the high command. If he had any reservations about Sidhu, he should have shared them during his meetings with the president of Congress, Sonia Gandhi, and the head of Punjab AICC, Harish Rawat. We all have to abide by the decision of the high command. Nobody can be allowed to fall into indiscipline or divide the party. ”
Sidhu loyalist MLA Pargat Singh asked why he should apologize. “In that case, Captain Amarinder should also apologize to the people of Punjab for not solving the problems of the state. We should focus on the welfare of Punjab and get rid of personal ego. Amarinder must show magnanimity, as it cannot be a clash of personalities. ”
The MLA Madanlal Jalalpur Congress also endorsed Sidhu: “The CM should show great heart and reconcile with Sidhu. Your advisers are not giving you the proper advice. Partap Singh Bajwa never apologized to Captain Amarinder, but the two have called for a truce. ”
Randhawa added that they were “loyal to the party, not to any individual.” He said they had “sided with Captain Saab for the party” and that today, too, they were on the party’s side. “The deficiency is due to the advisers. Will the retired officers and the CMO dictate the terms to us? Party workers are demoralized. We have been raising issues like power purchase agreements (PPAs). ”
Randhawa said that he did not agree with the views of his cabinet colleague Brahm Mohindra on supporting the CM for the apology demanded from Sidhu. “It should have facilitated a meeting between the two,” he said.
Look at the disparaging words that Sukhpal Khaira used against the CM during the Assembly session. The dispute between Amarinder and Partap Bajwa had broken out and we had welcomed Bajwa despite being loyal to Amarinder. There is no room for indiscipline in Congress, ”Randhawa said, adding that he, along with Tript Bajwa and Sukhbinder Sarkaria, had gone to the home of Punjab Mandi Board President Lal Singh to convey that they, along with Sidhu, would approach the CM if he agreed to meet.
Another MLA from Congress, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, said: “I think there is some annoyance (sic) between Amarinder and Sidhu, which will be resolved soon … There are also differences between the leaders of other parties.”
A political analyst saw the events as the end of the Amarinder era in the party. “A formidable group of Amarinder loyalists now side with Sidhu as if they have realized, or been told, that Amarinder has failed to deliver on its promises in the last four and a half years, and could cost Congress dearly the same. in the assembly elections, ”said analyst Kuldip Singh.
Sidhu and his backing MLAs have decided to invite Captain Singh to Sidhu’s installation ceremony at the Bhavan Congress in Chandigarh on Friday. It remains to be seen if Amarinder will be willing to bury the ax and attend in the absence of a public apology from Sidhu.
Sources said a letter to this effect was endorsed by the MLA who had gathered at Sidhu’s residence in Amritsar to request Amarinder’s presence. Acting President Kuljit Singh Nagra has been delegated to deliver the letter to Amarinder on Thursday and has requested an appointment with the CMO.
However, sources close to Amarinder said that the CM had not received such a letter until Wednesday night.
Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa confirmed the development to TOI, adding that he had made a previous attempt on Sidhu’s behalf to communicate with Amarinder through a loyalist, former MLA Lal Singh. However, he rejected reports that the MLA passed any resolution in Amritsar. “We had gone there to pay tribute at the Golden Temple and not to pass any resolution,” he said.
Harish Rawat is likely to attend the event. There are plans to invite Rahul Gandhi for the official inauguration, in addition to the leader of the Congress Kamal Nath and the CM of Rajasthan. However, there was no official confirmation of this.
“On Tuesday evening, a message was sent to the MLAs to go to Amritsar, and those present signed the letter to the CM. There were around 60 MLA present at Sidhu’s residence. Any new president who takes office goes to the Golden Temple, but in this case the whole turn of events is being overrated due to the CM’s annoyance, ”said one MLA.
Party sources said that the congressional leadership was in contact with both parties and that the Sidhu camp’s decision to offer an olive branch to Amarinder with an invitation followed their intervention.