Udayavni Special

Amarinder-Sidhu row: Sonia sets up 3-member panel to resolve differences among leaders in Punjab


PTI, May 28, 2021, 8:14 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday set up a three-member committee to resolve differences among its leaders in Punjab amid an open war of words between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his former cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu.

The panel comprising of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge as chairman, with AICC general secretary in-charge for Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and J P Aggarwal will meet for the first time on Saturday morning at the party headquarters here.

The committee comes in the wake of infighting and factionalism within the Punjab unit of the Congress ahead of 2022 assembly elections in the state.

Sources said the panel was formed by Sonia Gandhi late last night but was not announced publicly.

Confirming the development, Rawat said the panel is tasked with the twin objectives of strengthening the party and government in Punjab and resolving differences within the party leaders in the state.

“Our primary mandate is to strengthen the government and the party at the grassroots level and to help unite the Congress in Punjab and ensure its victory in the 2022 assembly polls,” Rawat told PTI.

He said the three leaders will meet on Saturday at the AICC headquarters to work out modalities on how to go about fulfilling its objectives.

“We would be talking to former party presidents and other key leaders in Punjab on how to strengthen the party and resolve any differences among state leaders,”  the former Uttarakhand chief minister said.

Amarinder Singh and Sidhu have been at loggerheads in the recent past and Sidhu has publicly criticised the chief minister.

“We will urge the leaders in Punjab not to air their grievances and views against each other in public and in the media, and instead raise their issues within the party forums,” he said.

He added that the committee will meet all MLAs, MPs and sitting and former presidents of the state unit as well as prominent leaders to know what needs to be done to set things right and ensure the party’s victory in the next assembly elections.

The sources said the three-member panel will meet the chief minister as well as Sidhu who have gone public against each other.

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