The crisis in the Punjab Congress appears to have ended with the party high command on Thursday (July 1) deciding to go for the next year’s Assembly election with Captain Amarinder Singh as the chief minister and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu to be made the president of the state Congress Committee.
There are likely to be two Pradesh Congress Committee presidents. The other person likely to fill the post is Vijay Singla, said to be the candidate of Captain Singh. Thus as per the formula there would be one Sikh and one Hindu PCC president. At present Sunil Jakhar is the president of the state unit of the party.
Besides, Captain Amarinder Singh has been asked to expand his cabinet and fulfil the election promise he made in 2017 on the issue of desecration of Guru Granth Saheb. Sidhu has repeatedly been criticizing Captain Singh of doing nothing on this count.
However, Sidhu had last week said that the new Special Investigation Team constituted by Punjab police was inching closer to justice on the incident of sacrilege and subsequent police firing of 2015. The Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP were in power then.
Thursday’s development followed a prolonged meeting Sidhu had with the Congress general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi a day earlier. He later in the day also held meetings with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
On the other hand, on Thursday, Captain Singh had lunch with his own band of MLAs, mostly coming from the Hindu community.
According to a close Congress-watcher, Rasheed Kidwai, the Congress may go to polls in the way the BJP went to the Assembly election in Assam a couple of months back. In Assam the saffron party projected Sarbananda Sonowal as the chief minister but there was tacit understanding that after the victory in the election it would make Himanta Biswa Sarma as the CM.