As the infighting in Punjab Congress continues, Navjot Singh Sidhu camp on Tuesday sought the replacement of Captain Amarinder Singh as the Chief Minister of the state. As the Sidhu camp ministers and MLAs seem firm on their demand to replace the Punjab CM, Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa said the message will be conveyed to the high command.
This latest development comes a day after newly-appointed Punjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu attacked the state government. He had said that the sugarcane prices in Punjab are too low as a variable in comparison to other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand. Questioning the Congress Government in Punjab, Sidhu had also sought an immediate resolution of the issues faced by the farmers regarding the prices.
The sugarcane farmers issue needs to be immediately resolved amicably …. Strange that despite the higher cost of cultivation in Punjab the state assured price is too low as compared to Haryana / UP / Uttarakhand. As torchbearer of agriculture, the Punjab SAP should be better !— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) August 23, 2021
On Tuesday, however, reports state that a higher state agreed price (SAP) for sugarcane crop prices was approved by CM Amarinder Singh.
Conceding the demand of sugarcane farmers, Punjab CM @capt_amarinder has approved another hike of Rs 35 per quintal in state agreed price (SAP) for crushing season 2021-22. The farmers will now get Rs 360 per quintal - Rs 2 higher than neighbouring Haryana. pic.twitter.com/vbLmIZENDw— Raveen Thukral (@RT_MediaAdvPBCM) August 24, 2021
Navjot Singh Sidhu repeatedly attacked the state government and the Punjab CM over the purported delayed justice in the incidents of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and the subsequent police firing incident. To end factionalism in the party's Punjab unit, Congress President Sonia Gandhi formed a committee comprising Rajya Sabha LoP Mallikarjun Kharge, ex-Delhi MP JP Agarwal, and AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab Harish Rawat on May 28. Since the last month, the panel has met multiple stakeholders including MLAs, ministers and the CM to ascertain their views ahead of the 2022 Assembly election.
However, the attempts to mollify him did not achieve the desired result at the outset as he hit out at the Punjab Government in a series of interviews on June 20. In a veiled dig at Amarinder Singh and the Badals, he hit out at "two powerful families" whom he accused of controlling Punjab and overriding the interests of the state for their vested interests. After meeting Sonia Gandhi on July 6, Singh said, “Whatever the Congress President decides on Punjab, we will accept it."
Escalating the row ten Congress MLAs — Harminder Singh Gill, Fateh Bajwa, Gurpreet Singh GP, Kuldip Singh Vaid, Balwinder Singh Laddi, Santokh Singh Bhalaipur, Joginderpal, Jagdev Singh Kamalu, Pirmal Singh Khalsa and Sukhpal Singh Khaira — urged the high command not to let the Punjab CM down on July 18. Moreover, they supported Singh's demand that Sidhu should tender a public apology so that the party and government can function in tandem. They said that Sidhu's public criticism had not only created a rift in the party ranks but also decreased the Congress graph in the last few months.