Navjot Singh Sidhu may be next Punjab Congress chief

Putting an end to the ongoing crisis in Punjab Congress, the party seems to have reached a consensus between Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu. In the new formula, Capt Amarinder Singh will remain the chief minister while Sidhu will be appointed the president of Punjab Congress.

Punjab Congress may have finally achieved a truce between Amarinder Singh and Sidhu who have been at loggerheads for months in the run-up to the Punjab assembly elections. Apart from Capt Amarinder Singh as the CM and Navjot Singh Sidhu as the PCC chief, Punjab Congress will also have two working presidents from the Hindu and Dalit communities. A formal announcement on the development is expected soon. “Announcing Sidhu as the PPCC president makes him frontrunner for the post of the CM in the Assembly polls due next year. Given the CM’s opposition to Sidhu’s candidature as the state unit chief, the party has to be prepared for a different working formula to bring both the leaders on the same page. Appointing two-three working presidents — a Dalit and a Hindu face — under the PPCC chief is also being discussed,” said a senior leader privy to the discussions.

The top leadership wants everything settled down before it announces the “peace formula” to end the crisis in the state unit. The dissidence in the state unit over the last two months saw the working Congress president Sonia Gandhi setting up three-member Mallikarjun Kharge panel to listen to grievances of Punjab leaders, before Rahul Gandhi met them.