Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has called a cabinet meeting on Wednesday after the drama unfolded in the state Congress unit following Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation as the state party president.
With Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation from the post of the state party president on Tuesday, the Punjab Congress plunged into a crisis yet again. The development came days after 15 Congress MLAs were sworn in as ministers in Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s government.
The Punjab Congress has been witnessing infighting for months now, leading to a significant change of the guard in the state — first, Navjot Singh Sidhu took charge of the Punjab Congress. Then, Captain Amarinder Singh resigned as the Punjab chief minister and a few days later, Sidhu resigned as the state party chief.
Here’s what has happened so far:
1. Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as the president of the Punjab Congress on Tuesday. However, he said he will continue to serve the party. Sidhu took to Twitter to make the announcement and also posted the letter he had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The letter read, “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. Therefore, I hereby resign as the President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee [PPCC]. Will continue to serve the Congress.”
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) September 28, 2021
2. Hours after Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as the Punjab Congress chief, it was raining resignations as several state party leaders stepped down from their posts.
While Razia Sultana resigned as Punjab cabinet minister, days after taking oath as a legislator, three other Punjab Congress leaders resigned from their party posts. Congress leader Yoginder Dhingra resigned as general secretary of the state party unit, Gulzar Inder Chahal resigned as treasurer of Punjab Congress and Gautam Seth also tendered his resignation as the general secretary (in-charge training) of the state Congress.
3. Taking a dig at Navjot Singh Sidhu after he resigned as the chief of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said “he [Sidhu] was not a stable man”.
“I told you so, he is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of Punjab,” Amarinder Singh tweeted.
I told you sohe is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of punjab.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) September 28, 2021
Captain Amarinder Singh also called Sidhu’s move to resign as Punjab Congress chief “sheer drama” and said it suggested that Sidhu was preparing the ground to quit the Congress and join hands with some other party in the run-up to the state assembly polls.
4. Meanwhile, rumours were rife that Captain Amarinder Singh would visit Delhi on Tuesday and meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda. Dispelling the rumour, the former Punjab chief minister, after landing in Delhi, said he is not in the national capital to meet any political leader but to vacate the Kapurthala house.
5. Following a series of dramatic developments, Congress MLAs close to Amarinder Singh have now urged the former CM to seek a floor test after several Congress leaders resigned “in solidarity” with Navjot Singh Sidhu, sources said.
6. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has called a cabinet meeting at 10:30 am on Wednesday to discuss the matter even as efforts are on to pacify Navjot Singh Sidhu to withdraw his resignation, sources said.
7. Earlier, Punjab ministers Pargat Singh and Amarinder Singh Raja Warring had met Navjot Singh Sidhu. “There are some minor issues that arose out of some misunderstandings and will be resolved tomorrow,” Warring said.
8. The political drama in Punjab ensued after Amarinder Singh resigned as the chief minister of Punjab, following months of a protracted power struggle with Navjot Singh Sidhu.
9. After resigning as the Punjab chief minister, Amarinder Singh had said he felt “humiliated” over the way the party handled the crisis. Singh had then also called Navjot Singh Sidhu “incompetent” and “anti-national”.
10. Later, Charanjit Singh Channi replaced Amarinder Singh as the Punjab chief minister. While he took oath as the chief minister on September 20, 15 Congress MLAs were sworn in as ministers in the new Punjab cabinet on September 26.