Cricketer-turned politician Navjot Sidhu will meet Congress general secretary KC Venugopal and Harish Rawat in Delhi on Thursday. The meeting comes amid an uncomfortable truce between him and the new Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
Mr Rawat, who is the party’s Punjab in-charge, tweeted to say the discussion will be on “organisational matters” of the state Congress.
Sh. Navjot Singh Sidhu, President Punjab Congress will be meeting me and Sh. Venugopal ji for discussion on certain organisational matters pertaining to Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee at Venugopal ji’s office on 14th October at 6 PM. @sherryontopp
— Harish Rawat (@harishrawatcmuk) October 12, 2021
Earlier this month, Mr Sidhu had quit the post of Punjab Congress chief, making his displeasure felt with the Chief Minister’s picks for cabinet, state police chief and the Advocate General.
But a day later, he had agreed to stay on — after he had accepted the Chief Minister’s invitation for a meeting and the two agreed to the formation of a coordination committee to monitor the progress of Congress’s 2017 Punjab poll promises.
The 57-year-old, however, is yet to formally withdraw his resignation.
That the tension remains under the surface became clear after Mr Sidhu skipped the wedding ceremony of the Chief Minister’s son. He did not cite any reason for his absence.
Two days before, he was also caught on camera criticising the party, saying it is “in a dying stage”.
While waiting for the Chief Minister at a party protest against the running over of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, Mr Sidhu questioned how the march will be a success.
“If the son of Bhagwant Sidhu (his father) was allowed to lead, then you would have seen… Congress is in a dying stage…” he was heard saying. The remarks were seen as an embarrassment to his party’s central leadership, which had backed him throughout his open rebellion against Amarinder Singh.
Mr Singh had stepped down from the Chief Minister’s post last month, upset over the way the central leadership treated him.
Mr Sidhu later insisted that he would “stand by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi… post or no post”.