Highlights

  • Navjot Singh Sidhu will take charge as Punjab Congress chief on Friday
  • Amarinder Singh has called for a tea party ahead of inaugural event
  • This is seen as a peace effort amid Punjab Congress infighting

Chandigarh:

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu will meet today for tea in a first effort for peace ahead of the cricketer-turned-politician’s inauguration as the Punjab Congress chief. The overture came from Mr Sidhu, who invited the Chief Minister for the programme at the party office. Mr Singh responded with an invite for a tea for all party leaders and MLAs.The tea party will be held at the Punjab Bhawan, after which they will proceed to the party office.

In the letter that pointedly mentioned his appointment by Sonia Gandhi, Mr Sidhu said, “I have no personal agenda, only Pro-People agenda. Thus, as the eldest of our Punjab Congress family, I request you to please come and bless the new team of PCC”.

Later in the afternoon, Raveen Thukral, the Chief Minister’s media advisor tweeted, “Punjab CM has invited all MLAs, MPs and senior party functionaries at Punjab Bhawan for tea at 10 am on Friday. They will all then go to Punjab Congress Bhawan together from there for the installation of the new PPCC team”.

The Chief Minister has already met two members of the new team, images of the meet were also posted along with the tweet.

Mr Sidhu was not part of the delegation that met Mr Singh and the two are likely to meet today for the first time since the trouble within the party escalated.

Mr Sidhu is yet to extend the public apology the Chief Minister has demanded for his disparaging tweets. But sources said it is likely that there has been some rapprochement between the two.

The cricketer-turned politician was elevated as the Congress president earlier this week after months of infighting that threatened to scuttle the party’s re-election bid in next year’s assembly polls.

The party veterans had also opposed Mr Sidhu — whom they dubbed a “BJP reject” — calling the shots.  

The elevation was seen as a snub to the Chief Minister and party veterans, who were against what they dubbed a “BJP reject” calling the shots. Mr Singh had only given a conditional acceptance to the Central leadership’s solution, but all his riders were ignored.

The feud between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu has been on since the 2017 state elections. Mr Sidhu, who joined the party after a stint in the BJP, hoped to be made Deputy Chief Minister. But the move was reportedly scuttled by Mr Singh. Mr Sidhu has been on the warpath since, publicly criticising the Chief Minister on and off.





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