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Congress’ new Punjab formula: Navjot Singh Sidhu as state unit chief, 2 deputy CMs

Sources

As per the new formula chalked out by Congress high command Sonia Gandhi to bring Punjab Chief Minister Amarinde Singh and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu onboard, the new state chief will get two working presidents and two deputy CMs.

Rajkumar Chabbewal, who is a Dalit leader, and Raja Bading who is a youth leader will be the working presidents. And in the race of deputy CMs, names of Brahm Mohindra, who is a Hindu and is said to be close to Amarinder, and Charanjit Singh Channi, who is a Dalit face and is from Sidhu’s camp is doing the rounds.

If sources are to be believed, Captain has agreed to Sidhu’s elevation but with conditions apply. The CM has said to have agreed to the arrangements after meeting AICC general secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat.

Earlier in the day, after being reprimanded by Congress high command and party leader Rahul Gandhi, Sidhu had softened his stance on Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, reports said.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has made it clear that the face of the party in Punjab is Captain Amarinder Singh and if there is any difference, it should be resolved internally.

Sources said only after getting this stern message, the former Punjab cabinet minister was seen holding a parley of meetings with many party leaders including state Congress president Sunil Jakhar, who is said to be close to the CM.

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh relents, Navjot Sidhu may be made Congress chief: Sources

 Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday agreed to accept any decision taken by the Congress high command as talks of Navjot Singh Sidhu’s being made party chief gathered momentum. Singh’s statement cames hours after his meeting with AICC general secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat, who flew down to Chandigarh in an effort to placate the chief minister.

After his meeting with Amarinder, Rawat told reporters: “One thing is very clear… Captain Amarinder Singh ji who had earlier made a ‘mahan’ (great) statement that that whatever decision will be taken by the Congress president will be honoured by him reiterated that statement today.”

On Friday, Amarinder Singh wrote a letter to Congress party’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi saying that giving the post of state party president to Sidhu, a Jat Sikh, would upset senior leaders representing the Hindu community and harm the Congress’ prospects in the 2022 assembly elections.

Meanwhile, the cricketer-turned-politician held a series of meetings through the day with Punjab Pradesh Congress President Sunil Jakhar as well as several MLAs fuelling further speculation to the Sidhu-Amarinder feud.

Sindhu’s meet with Jakhar lasted more than half-an-hour, Sidhu said the PPCC chief is his elder brother and a guiding force. Jakhar, in turn, described Sidhu as a capable man. After meeting Jakhar, Sidhu met other party leaders, including some ministers, in Chandigarh.

Suspense has been building up over the much-awaited announcement from the party high command on the resolution of the festering feud in the Punjab Congress. It has been speculated that Sidhu may be declared as head of state unit with four working presidents, sources close to 10 Janpath told ANI.