In a key development in the tussle between Captain Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday came forward and assured her support to the former. She asserted that there will be no change in the leadership in Punjab, and Captain Singh would continue to serve as the Chief Minister of the state, contrary to the demand of his removal posed by many including Sidhu. She has also made it clear that no action will be taken against Sidhu. She didn't, however, attend the meeting that Captain Amarinder held with the Congress panel sent to sort out the Punjab infighting, though her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra were present via video conference.
The statement of Sonia Gandhi comes on the last day of the meeting of the 3-member panel set up by her to solve the dispute between the party before the 2022 assembly elections. Singh met the panel on the last day, and also conducted a virtual meeting with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. While speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Punjab Chief Minister said that it was an internal discussion and this is why he will not divulge about it. Remarking that the state Assembly elections are due in the next 6 months, he said, "We all are getting ready to face it."
On Tuesday, Congress MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu had met the three-member panel in Delhi and apprised it of the ground reality in Punjab. Asserting that truth cannot be suppressed for long, he had taken another dig at Punjab CM Amarinder Singh by stressing the need to defeat every anti-Punjab force ahead of the 2022 Assembly election. Sidhu has allegedly targeted the CM for not acting against key Shiromani Akali Dal leaders in the sacrilege case. Sidhu had remarked, "I came here to convey the voice of the people from the grassroots in Punjab. My stance has been, is, and will remain that the democratic power which goes to the government and financial power which goes to the government in the form of taxes should go back to the people. The power of the people must return to the people in any form. I have conveyed the truth in its entirety. Truth can be suppressed but not defeated."
It is pertinent to mention here that the long-standing tiff between Navjot Singh Sidhu and Captain Amarinder Singh escalated recently after the two fired salvos at each other in public and on social media. This even led to an open request by the cricketer-turned-politician for an intervention of the Congress High Command, after which a 3-member panel was set up. Now, that the panel has heard both sides, it is likely to submit its report by the weekend or early next week.
As per sources, though Sonia Gandhi has given a clean chit to Singh, a change in the Punjab cabinet and the party seems on cards, as part of which Sidhu might be included in the Punjab Cabinet once again and elevated as Deputy Chief Minister.