As Navjot Sidhu reaches out to party leaders, Punjab congressmen will meet today at Partap Bajwa’s residence in Delhi: The Tribune India


Tribune press service

Chandigarh, July 18

Punjabi Congressman Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will meet today at the residence of Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa in Delhi. Officially, the issue of current farmers will be on at the top of the agenda. The problem is likely to feature in Parliament’s monsoon session from Monday.

Former PPCC chairman Bajwa, who was in Chandigarh, left for Delhi this morning.

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By the way, the meeting comes a day after Bajwa, Punjab President Rana KP Singh and Cabinet Minister Rana Gurmeet Sodhi called Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to his residence here on Saturday night in the middle signs of dissent over the likely rise of Navjot Singh Sidhu as Punjab CCP leader.

Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari, considered close to the CM, tweeted on Saturday Capt Amarinder Singh and Partap Bajwa would make a good team “for the future”. The cryptic tweet got everyone thinking about what Tewari’s remark about the future meant

On Saturday evening, Bajwa, whom Sidhu met on Friday, was seen sitting with the CM and his close friends – Rana KP Singh, Minister Rana Gurmit Sodhi and CM advisor BIS Chahal.

Already, the CM has met with leaders over the past few days in a show of force while publicly maintaining that it would defer to any decision made by Sonia.

After apparently getting an indication that the party’s high command is likely to appoint him as the new PPCC chairman, Navjot Sidhu has stepped up his efforts to take over former party heads of state and other leaders.

The movement is seen as a means of countering the regrouping of the old guard by the CM camp. The cricketer-turned-politician has met four ex-presidents – Partap Bajwa, Shamsher Dullo, Sunil Jakhar and Lal Singh – in the past two days. Speaking to The Tribune on Saturday, Bajwa said it was a courtesy visit and nothing more. Sources said in a recent meeting with party leader Sonia Gandhi that Sidhu was adamantly told that he should reach out to the party base, in addition to meeting with all important leaders.

The CM camp sees it as a show of strength from Sidhu. “If the CM camp regroups to consolidate its position, Sidhu has also started to meet with deputies and leaders to counter the attack,” said a senior official.

As the CM met with Punjab affairs official Harish Rawat at the farm on the first Saturday, there was a flurry of activity as Sidhu met with ministers Balbir Singh, Gurpreet Kangar, Sukhjinder Randhawa, in addition to meeting with the veteran party leader Lal Singh and a number of MPs – Pargat Singh, Raja Warring, Davinder Ghubaya, Darshan Brar, Barindermeet Pahra, Kulbir Zira, Surjit Singh Dhiman, Pritam Kotbhai and Satkar Kaur. Calling the visit a welcome sign, Jakhar said the party must present a united face for the 2022 assembly elections.

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