NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH : The Congress appears to be ramming a peace deal down the throat of an unwilling Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, letting him be the party’s CM face in the upcoming state Assembly election while elevating rebel Navjot Singh Sidhu as the head of the party’s state unit.
According to the truce formula, the state unit will also have two working presidents, one a Hindu and the other a Scheduled Caste face. Also, Amarinder might be appointed chairman of the party’s campaign committee while his bete noire Partap Singh Bajwa PS Bajwa is likely to be the manifesto committee chairman.
An upset Amarinder, who has been the face of the party in the state for several years and enjoys a good rapport with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, is said to have already conveyed his strong disapproval, adding he may opt out of contesting the polls if Sidhu is made the state unit chief. During his meeting with Sonia on July 6 over organisational changes, he had made it clear that making Sidhu’s appointment as the state unit chief would be disastrous for the party in the upcoming elections.
Leaders from the state wondered how the peace formula would work since Sidhu and the CM are not on the same page on many issues. Congress general secretary in-charge of Punjab, Harish Rawat, said the final decision would be announced in two-three days. “The party will be going into elections with Amarinder as CM . Sidhu is the future of the state.” Sidhu had hinted at joining the AAP if not being made the Pradesh Congress Committee chief.