Navjot Singh Sidhu resigns as Punjab Congress President

Navjot Singh Sidhu resigns as Punjab Congress President

Sidhu's surprise resignation comes days after he managed the ouster of his party rival Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister

Navjot Singh Sidhu. Credit: PTI photo

Navjot Singh Sidhu threw the Congress into a political turmoil on Tuesday, resigning as party's Punjab president after 71 days of his appointment and targeting the top leadership with an inneundo that he was not willing for any compromise.

Sidhu, who was appointed as Punjab Congress president on July 18 after Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi threw their weight behind the former cricketer against then Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi about his decision and posted the letter on his Twitter handle.

Singh was quick to comment, "I told you so…he is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of Punjab."

In the terse letter, Sidhu said, "the collapse of a man's character stems from the compromise corner, I can never compromise on Punjab's future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab. Therefore, I hereby resign as the president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Will continue to serve the Congress."

Sidhu's surprise resignation comes 10 days after he managed the ouster of his party rival Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister and eight days after installing his nominee Charanjit Singh Channi, a Dalit, in the driver seat.

Sidhu and Amarinder, who left for Delhi amid speculation that he may meet Home Minister and top BJP leader Amit Shah, were locked in an intense internal fight. Both the Gandhi siblings had supported the maverick leader, the former Amritsar MP who had left the BJP and joined Congress in 2017.

The resignation also led to further speculation about his future plans, as AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are scheduled to visit Punjab on Wednesday. For the record, Sidhu in his letter to Sonia has said that he would continue to serve the Congress.

A section has claimed that Sidhu is upset over the composition of the new Cabinet under Channi. Sources said Sidhu appeared to be upset with the inclusion of Rana Gurjeet Singh as a Minister as well as the appointment of A S Deol as Advocate General of Punjab.

The trouble in Congress in Punjab comes just five-six months ahead of the Assembly polls. The change in leadership came as Sidhu managed to get the backing of Rahul and Priyanka arguing that going with Singh would be suicidal for the party.

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