An indication by the Congress high command that it is set to appoint Navjot Singh Sidhu, one of the main detractors of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, president of the Punjab Congress, roiled the party in the election-bound state on Thursday.
Sources close to Amarinder said he was unhappy, and had conveyed to the high command that he would not go into the Assembly elections with Sidhu as PCC chief.
By evening, clarifications and denials were issued by both AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab Harish Rawat and the CM — it was, however, clear that the tussle in the state Congress had only worsened, and tensions had escalated.
Rawat rushed to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi around 7.30 pm, and subsequently claimed he had never said that Sidhu was being appointed PCC president.
Sources, however, said that Rawat’s office had even prepared a statement announcing Sidhu’s appointment. “Mujhse question kiya gaya ki kya woh (Sidhu) honge, toh maine kaha koi bhi faisla…aap jo kah rahe hain iske chaaron taraf hi hoga. Abi kai logistic ends hain jinko jo hai jodna hai,” Rawat told reporters after meeting Gandhi. He will now travel to Chandigarh on Friday to meet the Chief Minister.