Congress insiders say the party high command was outraged by the almost public outcry against Capt.’s high command: he sometimes threatened to show the high command his true worth, so to say.
New Delhi: Clearly, Punjab Congress’ insatiable maverick Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu tendered his resignation as Punjab Congress chief and plunged the Grand Old Party into yet another crisis after Captain Amarinder Singh was ousted as CM.
Congress sources, who want a positive solution to party affairs, say that Sidhu is playing his last game. The compromise formula that was struck, which included the sacking of Captain Amarinder Singh as CM and him becoming the state PCC chief with Channi as the new CM, was considered a “candy” to put out the fire for now. .
On the other hand, Channi becoming the Chief Minister is another problem for Sidhu. Punjab is the state with the highest Dalit population in percentage terms: around 32%. Given the Akalis and BJP’s troubled state in Punjab and the AAP is yet to be tested, the Congress still has the most chance of returning to power and the huge vote percentage that could affect Channi, Sidhu’s always going to be the best. Will be the end of the road for my dreams. becoming chief minister.
The opposition has claimed national security threats to Captain Amarinder Singh as well as Sidhu’s alleged closeness to Pakistan Army chief Bajwa, but did not cut much ice with people apart from an outrage on Twitter by RW. For that matter, Amarinder Singh can be accused of the same things, if one advances the argument.
However, the Congress high command wanted Sidhu as the PCC chief as the former cricketer is very popular among the people of Punjab. He is, in a way, the true heir to the Captain’s Jat Sikh heritage and a mighty force against the Akalis. But, according to Congress sources, Sidhu lost his courage and did not want to leave anything for the future. Essentially, this meant that Sidhu wanted to lead the Congress in the elections and win a victory that would seal any debate over his leadership in Punjab forever.
But, bowing down to Sidhu and sacking Captain Amarinder has cost the Congress internally and externally. A big question that has remained unanswered so far is why the Captain was fired in such a ghastly manner? Congress insiders say that the party high command was angered by an almost public outcry against the Captain’s high command: he sometimes threatened to show the high command his true worth, so to say.
Therefore, Amarinder was fired, apparently, not for Sidhu, but for his dogma against the high command.
Sources say that the son of Congress veteran Balram Jakhar and former Punjab Congress President Sunil Jakhar was the party’s first choice for the new CM.
Jakhar not being a Jat Sikh was a spoiler. But, Jakhar was calm with it and told the high command in several words, say Congress insiders. However, he had the support of more than 45 MLAs.
At this point Pratap Singh Bajwa suggested Channi’s name to the high command. His equation was straightforward: as a Jat Sikh PCC chief and a Dalit chief minister there was a sure-shot formula for another victory in the state. Anyway, the party was considering the same when they wanted to make Jakhar the CM.
While Sidhu was still reticent and wanted to become the CM, it is believed that the high command had clearly told him that his time would come.
Eventually Sidhu accepted Channi. But, then he insisted for some appointments by Channi, which were not respected and the present crisis flared up.
First published:September 29, 2021, 1:48 pm