- A meeting of 20 Punjab Congress leaders took place today in Ludhiana.
- In the meeting, some leaders batted for a key role for former Punjab Congress chief Sidhu.
- Sidhu was also among the participants at the meeting.
At a party meeting of Punjab Congress leaders that took place today in Ludhiana, some of them were seen batting for a key role of former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was also among the participants at the meeting. The meeting was meant to discuss ways to strengthen the party’s state unit after the debacle in the assembly elections and the Centre’s decision to align the Chandigarh union territory employees’ service conditions with that of the central civil services, party leaders said.
Sukhpal Khaira, Congress MLA from Bholath, dismissed reports that the meeting was a show of strength by the “Sidhu group” before Congress picks up its next state unit chief. “I want to clarify it was not a meeting of a particular group, Sidhu group, etc. It’s very wrong to say this. It was a meeting of the Congress party,” he said.
Like-minded Congress MLAs, ex-MLAs, assembly election candidates and the former Pradesh Congress Committee president gathered at the home of party leader Rakesh Pandey. The participants included Khaira, Sidhu, Ashwani Sekhri and former MLA Surinder Dawar.
The Congress received a drubbing in the Punjab assembly polls as it could win only 18 seats and the Aam Aadmi Party stormed to power by bagging 92 of the 117 assembly segments.
Sidhu was defeated by AAP candidate and political greenhorn Jeevan Jyot Kaur from the Amritsar East constituency.
Following the poll debacle in five states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur, and Punjab — Congress president Sonia Gandhi had asked the party’s state unit chiefs to put in their papers, and Sidhu, too, tendered his resignation.
Khaira, however, said, “Sidhu’s resignation is yet to be accepted by the high command”.
(With PTI Inputs)