The pressure from his close aides seems to have finally worked as Navjot Singh Sindhu accepted the offer for talks with Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, generating hopes of a resolution to the crisis gripping the state Congress after his resignation on Tuesday.
The cricketer-turned-politician again took to Twitter on Thursday to inform that he was willing to discuss the issue with Channi at Punjab Bhavan at 3pm. On Wednesday, Channi had offered to talk to the PCC chief to resolve the issue. “Chief Minister has invited me for talks … will reciprocate by reaching Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh at 3:00 PM today, he is welcome for any discussions!” tweeted Sidhu
Sources in the party said that though Sidhu had been unrelenting despite appeal by his supporters, it was two factors that finally made him relent. Reliable sources said that his close aide Pargat Singh had impressed upon him that his decision to quit had left “those who supported him” at crossroads. “It was an emotional meeting between the two in which Pargat clearly told Sidhu that he cannot just leave his supporting MLAs stranded,” a member of the Sidhu camp revealed.
Also what had started weighing heavily on the mind of Sidhu was the fact that not many in the top brass of the Congress had reached out to him. “Gradually, he had started realising that the senior leaders were trying to cut him to size and hence thought it wise to accept CM’s offer for talks,” commented a party leader.
Sidhu had tendered his resignation on Tuesday precipitating a crisis in Punjab Congress. He had claimed that he was quitting to protest against induction of any “tainted” politician or bureaucrat in the government. Sidhu has been primarily unhappy with the pick of Rana Gurjit Singh in the cabinet and Advocate General APS Deol and DGP Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota.
Though the party high command reportedly refused to intervene, and left it to the state unit to resolve the impasse, statements from newly inducted ministers like Pargat Singh were a clear indication that the party needs to sort it out this to get back the lost image.
Also what now needs to be watched for is whether the top brass will accept Sidhu’s demand for dropping the “tainted” minister and going back on some government appointments like AG and in-charge DGP. The truce formula, if any, arrived at will hold the key to resolution of the crisis which threatens to damage the Congress party irrevocably ahead of the state assembly elections.
With inputs from News18