Channi, Sidhu, Amarinder
- Chief Minister Channi, PCC president Sidhu meet
The crisis in Punjab Congress party appears to have subsided with PCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu agreeing to stay back. The credit for resolving the issue goes to the new chief minister, Charnajit Channi who reached out to the sulking party chief yesterday. Both Navjot Sidhu and Channi had a meeting on Thursday morning and thrashed out the issues arising out of appointments and division of portfolios. The appointment of police chief and advocate general was not to Sidhu’s liking. Sidhu’s advisor Mohammad Mustafa has been saying that it was only an emotional outburst on the part of Sidhu who is known for his temperament.
Chief Minister Channi said yesterday itself that he would not take any rigid ground and his ego is not important and things could be sorted out if they sit and discuss. Ultimately that was what happened. “The Congress leadership understands Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sidhu is not beyond the Congress leadership. He is not Amarider Singh, who never cared for the Congress and its leadership,” commented Mustafa.
The first Dalit chief minister of Punjab was amicable saying that his decisions if objected to by anyone could be reviewed and reconsidered. He proved to be a matured leader who has the party’s interests at heart. Sidhu met Channi at Punjab Bhavan. Sidhu who had sent his resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi and released it to the media in a huff on the other day appeared cool today. “My fight is issue-based and I have stood by it for a long time. I cannot compromise with my ethics, my moral authority. What I witnessed is a compromise with issues, agenda in Punjab. I cannot misguide the high command nor can I let them be misguided,” Sidhu said in a video statement on Wednesday.
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Now Sidhu, Channi and other Congress leaders have to concentrate on the fast approaching elections. It seems both Sidhu and Channi had agreed to have a three-member committee to take decisions on regular basis. Besides Sidhu and Channi, the third member of the committee could be Harish Chowdhary. Gandhis have to deal with the dissidence in Chattisgarh and Rajasthan where the Congress chief ministers feel insecure after what happened in Punjab. One thing they must have understood was they cannot be indifferent to the Congress leadership and they cannot be rigid like Amarinder Singh. They have to be flexible and accommodate the other contenders in the party. Otherwise, they would be sent out the way Amarinder Singh was made to go. After all, organizing dissidence in Rajasthan or Chattisgarh is not a big deal for the party leadership.
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Gandhis would do well to take the suggestion given by Ghulam Nabi Azad and convene a meeting of the party’s working committee and also decide the schedule for organizational elections as demanded by another senior leader Kapil Sibbal. The present ad hoc arrangement cannot go on indefinitely while the party is getting depleted by the day.