Congress still confronted by a divided house in Punjab

New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) The Punjab problem of the Congress is far from over as state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu is against his own government on various issues and now the party is concerned about non-Sikh votes in the state.
With former Punjab President Sunil Jakhar being upset about being denied the Chief Minister’s post, now the party is reaching out to these leaders. Rana KP, speaker of the Punjab Assembly, recently met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi. Party in-charge of the state Harish Chaudhary has reached out to Jakhar but sources say he was unable to pacify him and it is likely that Sonia Gandhi may have to intervene in the state’s issues. Sources close to Sunil Jakhar confirmed the meeting on Tuesday evening.
However, the sources said he did not have any issue with the Punjab in-charge Harish Chaudhary. If there is any issue, it must be between Sidhu and Channi about who will be the CM after the state elections.
Jakhar was once considered the top choice for Chief Minister but lost the race in the last lap when the issue of a Sikh as Chief Minister was raked up by senior leader Ambika Soni.
The Congress is also wary of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh who may be eyeing the rebels in the party. Amarinder on Friday attacked Harish Chaudhary over allegations the latter made against him. Amarinder Singh said in a statement that although he owed no explanation to “an out of job legislator who has been sacked as a minister in Rajasthan for being named as an accused in the murder case of Kamlesh Prajapat, in Barmer, and inquiry for which has been handed over to the CBI by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot”, he still wanted to set the record straight.
The Congress is now fighting a dual battle in the state as after Amarinder Singh’s exit, a still unhappy Sidhu is continuously questioning his own government and taking credit on behalf of the government, thus escalating the infighting in the state apparatus.
Sidhu has been courting controversy often and recently he referred to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as his ‘elder brother’ — a repeat of 2018 when he visited Pakistan for the swearing-in of the latter and hugged the Pakistan army chief there.

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