Sidhu to take charge as Punjab Cong chief on Friday, to invite CM for event

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Navjot Singh Sidhu along with party leaders, offers prayers at Golden temple in Amritsar (Photo: PTI)

As newly appointed Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and four other working presidents are set to assume charge here on Friday, an invite will be extended to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for the event.

Sidhu will be taking over from incumbent state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar.

Sidhu and Amarinder Singh have been at loggerheads for the past some time, with the Amritsar (East) MLA recently attacking the CM over the desecration cases.

The chief minister was also averse to his appointment as the state Congress chief. After Sidhu's elevation, the CM had said that he won't meet him until the cricketer-turned-politician apologises for his "derogatory" tweets against him.

A party leader told reporters in Amritsar on Wednesday that the chief minister will be requested to grace the event.

Sources said that an invite is set to be extended to the chief minister on behalf of the newly appointed state unit chief and four working presidents.

Incharge of Punjab affairs at the AICC, Harish Rawat, and other senior Congress leaders are expected to attend the event, sources said.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had on Sunday appointed Sidhu as the new president of the party's Punjab unit, notwithstanding the strong opposition from Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Gandhi also appointed four working presidents, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel and Kuljit Singh Nagra, to assist Sidhu in the run-up to the next Assembly elections.

Earlier, the Punjab chief minister's media adviser had said the CM will not meet Sidhu till he publicly tenders an apology for his "derogatory" tweets against him.

Nagra said they have requested AICC office-bearers, senior leaders of the Congress Party, including the chief minister and party workers, to attend the event.

They must reach the event to bless the new team. We request Jakhar sahab and Chief Minister sahab that they must attend, Nagra told reporters in Amritsar.

Sources said that Nagra is likely to meet Amarinder Singh on Thursday while formally inviting him for the Friday's function.

Earlier during the day on Wednesday, in what was seen as a show of strength, nearly 60 Congress MLAs gathered at the residence of Sidhu in Amritsar, amid suspense over a possible truce between him and CM Amarinder Singh.

The Congress has 80 MLAs in the state Assembly.

Before going to Amritsar, Sidhu had been calling on ministers and legislators in Chandigarh to mobilise support in the past a few days.

Sidhu had already met several ministers and MLAs.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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