Congress asks Channi to ‘sort Punjab crisis at state level’; Sidhu likely to continue as PCC chief


Channi rushed to Delhi a day after he held hectic parleys with a disgruntled Navjot Singh Sidhu, who finally relented and reportedly agreed to continue as the Punjab Congress chief after he was assured that a coordination panel, comprising him and the CM, will be set up

The Gandhi’s have maintained a stoic silence on the mess that has been brewing in Punjab, even more so as they came under attack from the rebel G-23. PTI

After his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, during his first visit to the National Capital after taking oath, was slated to meet senior Congress leaders amid the ongoing crisis in the party’s Punjab unit.

He, however, went directly to the airport from his “very positive” meeting at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in Delhi.

Channi was also supposed to meet the Gandhi’s, sources said.

According to top sources in the party, the Congress high command has now told Chaani “to sort it out at the state level”. Additionally, Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat is also being sent to Chandigarh before the Cabinet meeting on Monday, they said.

Channi rushed to Delhi a day after he held hectic parleys with a disgruntled Navjot Singh Sidhu who finally relented and reportedly agreed to continue as the Punjab Congress chief after he was assured that a coordination panel, comprising both him and Channi will be set up to oversee all major decisions by the Punjab government in future.

The decision was reached after an over two-hour meeting at the Punjab Congress Bhavan. Sidhu had resigned from the post of the state party chief on Tuesday.

Later, Rawat had told News18 that it will take ‘five to seven days’ to get everything right in Punjab. Rawat said he was earlier assuming that the work has been done, but “some situations are such” that he will have to go to Punjab.

Interestingly, Captain Amarinder Singh was also in Delhi for two days. On Wednesday he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah, which led to the buzz of him possibly joining the BJP, but he quickly quashed it. He also met National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Thursday.

The politically significant meeting, which came days after Singh resigned as the chief minister after accusing the Congress of “humiliating him”, raised speculation over his future plans ahead of the Punjab polls.

The Gandhi’s have maintained a stoic silence on the mess that has been brewing in Punjab, even more so as they came under attack from the rebel G-23.

Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal on Wednesday sharply questioning the decision-making process, saying there are “no monopolies”, and demanded convening an urgent meeting of the CWC for a “dialogue”.

A senior member of the ‘Group of 23’ who had written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi seeking an organisational overhaul, Sibal said the grouping is not a “Jee Huzur 23”, and will continue to put forth their views and repeat their demands.

He also attacked the Congress leadership, wondering who in the party was taking decisions in the absence of a full-time president.

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