Navjot Singh Sidhu meets Sonia Gandhi ahead of Punjab Congress revamp

Sidhu left Sonia Gandhi's 10 Janpath residence without talking to the media

New Delhi: Amid continued infighting in the Punjab Congress, former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday met party chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence here.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and party in-charge of Punjab affairs, Harish Rawat were also present during the meeting, sources said.

The meeting comes ahead of the party’s Punjab unit revamp and amid reports that Sidhu may get a key role in the organisation.

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After the meeting, Rawat said Sonia Gandhi is yet to take a final decision on the issue and he will share it soon after it is done.

Asked whether a decision to appoint Sidhu as Punjab Congress chief has been made, Rawat said, “Who says this?”

“I had come here to submit my report on Punjab to the Congress chief and as soon as a decision is taken by the Congress President, I will come and share it with you,” Rawat said.

“Please read my statement very carefully and try and understand the words and their meaning,” he also said.

Sources said Rawat may now be meeting Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in a bid to pacify him and work out a formula.

On Thursday when he was asked if Sidhu was being made the PCC chief, Rawat had said that “a formula is being worked out around that”.

Rawat said the media interprets news as it wants but the Congress normally does not react until it is essential.

Asked about what transpired at the meeting, he said, he cannot divulge details and whatever a state leader says to the Congress president is between them.

Sidhu, however, left Sonia Gandhi’s 10, Janpath residence without talking to the media.

According to sources, the Punjab chief minister has expressed resentment over Sidhu being given a key role. AICC general secretary Rawat had, however, denied such reports.

Rawat had maintained that the central leadership was working out a peace formula where both Singh and Sidhu could work together to help the party win in the Punjab Assembly polls next year.

Both the leaders are at loggerheads with each other and have made public statements against each other.

Both Singh and Sidhu have held parallel meetings in Chandigarh with their loyalists.

While the chief minister has met some party MPs, MLAs and ministers, Sidhu is learnt to have met Punjab ministers Sukhjinder Randhawa and Tript Rajinder Bajwa, and some MLAs close to him at Randhawa’s residence.

Meanwhile, amid reports of Sidhu’s elevation, party MP Manish Tewari batted for a Hindu face for the PCC chief’s post while giving details of the composition of the state’s population.

“Punjab is both progressive and secular but balancing social interest groups is key. Equality is the foundation of social justice!” he said in the tweet, while giving details of Punjab’s demography mentioning that Sikhs constitute 57.75 per cent of the population while Hindus and Dalits constitute 38.49 and 31.94 per cent respectively.

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