Punjab is seeing a tense situation between the camps of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Amid political strains, citing next year’s assembly elections in Uttarakhand, where he is the Congress’s campaign committee chairman, Congress’s Punjab in-charge, Harish Rawat asked to be relieved from his job and said he would abide by whatever direction is given to him by the party. He also said next year’s polls will be fought under Amarinder Singh
Harish Rawat said that he wants to concentrate on the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttarakhand, thus it had been on his mind to seek to be relieved of the responsibility of the party’s Punjab affairs in charge.
“Yes, this is the reason,” the former Uttarakhand Chief Minister told reporters in Dehradun on Thursday when asked if he has sought to be relieved of the charge as Punjab affairs in-charge so that he could concentrate on the upcoming polls in his state.
In the meantime, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu splashed out another color of controversy complaining of Congress ‘against the lack of freedom in decision making for him amid turmoil in state Congress, saying that if he is not allowed to take decisions he will ‘not spare anyone.
Addressing a meeting with traders association on Friday, Sidhu said he spoke to the Congress high command and told them that he doesn’t want to be a ‘show horse’.
He said, “I have told the high command that if you do not let me take decisions, I will not spare anyone (eenth se eenth bajja dunga)… I do not want to be a showhorse. Decisions are required to be taken. No state can develop without industry. International trade should start. The people of Punjab are in despair. If I had to put my life on the line, I would not back down,” Sidhu said.
Responding to Navjot Sidhu’s statement pressing the party high command to provide him the freedom to take decisions, Mr Rawat said party chiefs are free to take their decisions within the party’s norms and constitution.
“I will see the context in which Navjot Singh Sidhu has made these remarks. Mr Sidhu is the respected chief of the Punjab unit. Who will have the power to take decisions if not the state presidents,” he told reporters in Delhi on Friday.
Navjot Sidhu had said earlier that the party high command should give him the freedom to make decisions and he will ensure that the Congress remains in power for the next 20 years. He said he has prepared a roadmap in this regard.
However, Navjot Sidhu’s rather inciting statements in public make it look as if “Congress is fighting Congress” and while political onlookers are enjoying the showy entertainment, it sinks the morale of the party. All political parties have internal tussles but as the saying goes, “You should never wash your dirty linen in public.”