Chandigarh: Hours after Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as the chief of Punjab Congress, some of the state ministers and party leaders reached out to him on Tuesday night over his hasty decision and said the misunderstanding that arose out of ‘minor issues’ will be resolved by Wednesday. Earlier in the day, the Congress rejected his resignation and asked the state leadership to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.Also Read - ‘Stop Talking About Secularism’: Amarinder Singh Slams Congress, Questions Alliance With Sena
Punjab Ministers Pargat Singh and Amrinder Singh Raja Warring on Tuesday night met Navjot Singh Sidhu. “There are some minor issues, that arose out of some misunderstandings and will be resolved tomorrow,” Minister Warring said. Also Read - Sidhu Seeks Meet With Sonia Gandhi For His 13-Point Agenda to Resurrect Punjab Congress in 2022 Polls
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Razia Sultana quits: Hours after Sidhu’s resignation, Razia Sultana, a part of the new 18-member ministry led by Charanjit Singh Channi, too put in her papers, expressing solidarity with the former cricketer.
Punjab Congress general secretary Yoginder Dhingra and treasurer Gulzar Inder Chahal followed with their resignations. Amid a flurry of political activity, several state Congress leaders visited Sidhu at his home in Patiala.
Sidhu, 57, who announced his resignation shortly after the allocation of portfolios to the new ministers, said he remains with the party.
Power tussle with Amarinder: He was appointed the party’s state unit president on July 18 amid a bitter power tussle with Amarinder Singh, who stepped down as the CM 10 days back while accusing the party high command of humiliating him. However, Sidhu didn’t elaborate why he has quit.
But speculation in party circles ranges from his displeasure over the allocation of the home portfolio to Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa to the appointments of the acting police chief and the state advocate general by the new CM.
Sidhu’s resignation letter: “The collapse of a man’s character stems from the compromise corner, I can never compromise on Punjab’s future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab,” he said in his letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“Therefore, I hereby resign as the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Will continue to serve the Congress,” the letter on Twitter said.
Amarinder calls Sidhu ‘unstable’: Amarinder Singh, who had called Sidhu dangerous and anti-national , was quick to react. I told you so he is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of Punjab, he tweeted.
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar tweeted, It’s just not cricket! “What stands compromised in this entire ‘episode’ is the faith reposed in the (outgoing?) PCC President by the Congress Leadership. No amount of grand standing can justify this breach of trust placing his benefactors in a peculiar predicament,” he posted.
The abrupt resignation took place on a day Amarinder Singh was headed to Delhi, and the day before Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal was scheduled to visit Punjab to make some big announcements .
Channi not aware of Sidhu’s resignation: Channi, once considered a Sidhu loyalist, claimed he was not aware of his resignation. I have not received such information, he said. Asked if Sidhu was upset over the allocation of the home portfolio to Randhawa and some other appointments, he said, “We will sit with Sidhu Saheb and talk to him. He is our president and a good leader.”
Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira who went to Sidhu’s home in Patiala urged him to reconsider his decision. He suggested to reporters that Sidhu must have taken a stand against corruption. When his suggestions were not accepted by the party, he must have felt that he did not to want to be a silent state party president, according to Khaira.
In Chandigarh, Cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said the high command is seized of the matter and expressed confidence that it would be sorted out by Wednesday.
Pargat Singh, Razia Sultana, PPCC working presidents Kuljit Nagra, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, MLAs Bawa Henry and Inderbir Singh Bolaria, and MP Amar Singh were among the party leaders who arrived at Sidhu’s Patiala home.