Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said that a Dalit should be made the deputy CM, adding that he is in favour of creating 2-3 posts of the deputy CM, sources said.
Appearing before a three-member Congress panel on Friday in Delhi, Singh said that a deputy CM is seen as a successor of the Chief Minister and he doesn’t want any leader to be projected as his successor, sources told India TV. This is the reason why Singh wants more than one deputy Chief Minister in the state, sources said.
Earlier today, Singh met the panel set up by the Congress high command to resolve infighting in the party’s state unit and apprised it of efforts to unite the party, as well as preparedness for the upcoming assembly polls. He met the panel headed by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge at the party headquarters at Akbar Road here. AICC secretary general in charge for Punjab Harish Rawat and former MP J P Aggarwal are members of the panel.
Sources said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and KC Venugopal too joined the meeting virtually.
Singh and his former cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu have been engaged in a bitter war of words. Sidhu has publicly attacked the chief minister over an SIT report on the sacrilege issue in Punjab.
The Congress panel has already met Sidhu, party MPs, MLAs and former PCC chiefs besides a host of other leaders in the last four days.
The panel, set up by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, is likely to present its report to her by the weekend or early next week. A change in the Punjab cabinet and the party is imminent ahead of next year’s assembly elections, sources said.
As part of reconciliation efforts, sources said that Sidhu may be included in the Punjab cabinet once again and elevated as deputy CM.
The leadership may also be working to replace Sunil Jhakar as the state Congress chief, a post which Sidhu has been eyeing for long. Jakhar has completed his tenure but has been asked to continue as the state unit chief by the Congress high command.