Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will meet party MLAs from Punjab at his residence in Delhi on Friday amid raging infighting in the state unit ahead of the Assembly election early next year.
Earlier this week, on Wednesday, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Sunil Jakhar and Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal met Rahul in Delhi to discuss the ongoing crisis within the party.
Former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu is at loggerheads with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and both have publicly given statements against each other in the media, with Sidhu criticising the chief minister for not bringing the guilty to book in the Kotkapura sacrilege incident.
Sidhu had quit the Amarinder Singh cabinet in July 2019 after being divested of the local bodies portfolio and has been in the political wilderness since.
A three-member AICC panel set up by Sonia Gandhi to end factionalism in the Punjab Congress submitted its report to the party’s interim president, suggesting a revamp of the state unit to accommodate all sections. The panel chaired by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and comprising AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former MP JP Aggarwal suggested that Navjot Singh Sidhu be ‘suitably accommodated’.
Punjab is crucial for Congress as it is one of the few states where the party is in power and the outcome will have an impact on the party’s prospects outside the state also. The next assembly elections are scheduled to take place next year.