PCC chief says party brass must step in. Amid Sidhu's attacks on Captain
PCC chief says party brass must step in. Amid Sidhu's attacks on Captain

Amid mounting public squabbling in Punjab Congress, with Navjot Sidhu and others accusing chief minister Amarinder Singh of protecting the Akali Dal first family, state unit president Sunil Jakhar has urged the high command to intervene and sort out of problems in the state that goes to polls early next year.

Jakhar told he was confident that Punjab will be the crucible of Congress’s comeback in politics but “the party leadership will have to focus on the happenings in the state and it should take charge”. He stressed resolving the turbulence around allegations levelled by Navjyot Sidhu and others about the administration going soft on the Akalis require the leadership's intervention as the high profile former cricketer turned politician has been the "high command's baby".

Jakhar said Punjab affairs, as also of some other poll bound states, should be the mandate of the newly formed AICC committee to probe the reasons for the party defeat in recent assembly elections. He added that the CM, given his stature, was also part of the high command now.

“We should learn from history but we also have to look to the future and the new beginning. Besides the reasons for debacle, it is high time that the party looked at the ways for a comeback. The (Ashok Chavan) committee should look into how the Congress can win in future elections,” he said, suggesting new agenda for the panel.

Punjab Congress is convulsed by allegations levelled by Sidhu and others that the administration is protecting the Badal family that heads the Akali Dal, the provocation being the sacrilege case pertaining to the desecration of the holy book in which the previous Akali government got a clean chit recently. On Monday, MLA Pargat Singh, vocal on the controversy along side Sidhu, alleged that he was threatened by a confidant of the chief minister, further muddying the waters.

Further, Jakhar said Sidhu, who is leading the charge against the CM, will have to be tackled by the AICC brass. “Sidhu is high command’s baby starting with his induction in the party. He has been treated with kid gloves. So it is about time that the high command’s focus is on this tricky situation.... Nothing is irreconcilable and all issues can be tackled but for that the high command’s intervention is required,” he argued.

Punjab goes to polls in February 2022 along side UP, Goa and Uttarakhand. While the Akali Dal is badly marginalized, the AAP is looking to revive itself. There are concerns in Congress that dissidence and sensitive issues like desecration and Amarinder administration’s softness towards the Badal family can help the AAP’s mobilisation.


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