Take decisive steps to discipline Sidhu, Punjab Cong leaders urge Yadav - Hindustan Times
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Take decisive steps to discipline Sidhu, Punjab Cong leaders urge Yadav

Jan 10, 2024 06:12 AM IST

Will speak to Sidhu, says new Congress Punjab affairs in-charge after party leaders object to former state party chief’s rallies

Chandigarh : Amid growing tussle between the Punjab Congress leadership and him, several party leaders on Tuesday sought immediate decisive steps to discipline former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for holding rallies without consulting the state unit.

Amid growing tussle between the Punjab Congress leadership and him, several party leaders on Tuesday sought immediate decisive steps to discipline former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for holding rallies without consulting the state unit.
Amid growing tussle between the Punjab Congress leadership and him, several party leaders on Tuesday sought immediate decisive steps to discipline former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for holding rallies without consulting the state unit.

The demand for action against Sidhu was raised during the meetings held by newly appointed Punjab affairs in-charge Devender Yadav with the state unit leaders, MLAs, MPs among others, people privy to discussions said on the condition of anonymity. Yadav had called the state leaders to discuss the alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections where some party leaders stressed the need to maintain discipline in the state.

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Citing Sidhu’s digs at party colleagues at his public meetings, they also expressed displeasure over the lack of action by the party leadership to rein in the former state unit chief. “One leader said that Sidhu’s statements in the run-up to the assembly elections had hurt the party, and that if he is allowed to carry on in this manner, you can very well imagine the impact,” one of the people quoted above said. After the discussions, Yadav told reporters that he was told about these rallies. “I will talk to him (Sidhu) about it,” he said, refusing to say anything further.

Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Congress Legislature Party leader Partap Singh Bajwa, former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, MP Manish Tewari, former speaker Rana KP Singh, Shamsher Singh Dullo and Vijay Inder Singla were among the prominent party leaders present at the meetings. After the meeting, Randhawa was asked about Sidhu’s rallies, but he refused to comment. “I do not have good relations with him,” he said.

However, about a dozen party leaders, including a former chief minister and some state unit office-bearers, did not turn up for the interaction with the Punjab affairs in-charge who is on his first visit to the state. Though their absence was seen in party circles as their way to convey their resentment against the party’s failure to discipline Sidhu, most of them did not respond to calls, and the ones who did said they were busy elsewhere. One of them said that the party leadership has issued warnings against any breach of discipline, but is still to initiate action. “We stayed away to show our resentment,” he said, requesting anonymity.

The voices demanding disciplinary action against Sidhu grew louder on a day he addressed his third rally in Hoshiarpur and took digs at those opposed to his rallies. “If 5,000 to 7,000 people gather at any place, why do some people get stomach ache,” he said.

Sidhu’s first ‘Jittega Punjab’ rally at Mehraj in Bathinda where he hit out at former CM Charanjit Singh Channi had triggered a war of words with Bajwa. Reacting sharply to the rally, Bajwa asked him not to hold his separate akhara and advised him to speak on the party platform. Later, some other Congress leaders issued a statement demanding strict action against Sidhu whose supporters also hit back at the CLP leader.

Yadav is scheduled to meet block presidents and state unit office-bearers, district chiefs and heads of frontal organisations on January 10 and 11.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    A senior assistant editor, Navneet Sharma leads the Punjab bureau for Hindustan Times. He writes on politics, public affairs, civil services and the energy sector.

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