Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi asks ‘head of family’ Sidhu to talk, resolve issues.

A day after Navjot Singh Sidhu tendered his resignation from the post of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, state Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday said he was urging the “Congress family’s head”—Sidhu—to resolve all issues. The development took place amid strong speculation that Sidhu would join the Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday with 30 Congress MLAs and would be declared CM candidate by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, who would visit Punjab tomorrow. In fast-paced developments, amid a fresh crisis in the ruling Congress in the state, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh reached the residence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Addressing the media in Chandigarh, Channi said; “Whoever is party president, is head of the family. I had called him (Navjot Singh Sidhu) and told him that the party is supreme… I have spoken to him on phone and told him, let’s sit, talk it out and resolve the issue.”

Sidhu on Wednesday clarified his stand and spoke about the reasons for his resignation, through a video message on Twitter. “It is not a personal battle but a fight for principles. I won’t compromise on principles,” Sidhu said, adding that he would keep fighting for truth till his last breath. “I will never compromise on Punjab’s future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab,” he added.

He raised questions on some politicians and officers as well as over their appointments. He also spoke about the appointment of the Advocate General and raised questions. He said, “The collapse of a man’s character stems from the compromise corner. I can never compromise on Punjab’s future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab.”

In the video message, Sidhu further said that his only religion was to make people’s lives better as he had fought for justice and for Punjab’s agenda. “What I witness is a compromise with issues, agenda in Punjab,” he said. “I don’t have any personal rivalry with anyone; 17 years of my political career have been for a purpose, to make difference, to take a stand and to fight for issues. This is my only religion,” he said.

In another development, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh reached the residence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Wednesday amid the fresh crisis in the ruling Congress in Punjab. Singh, who stepped down as Chief Minister earlier this month, had reached Delhi on Tuesday. The Congress leader had told reporters on his arrival in the national capital that he had come to Delhi to vacate Kapurthala House. He had also said that he was not going to meet any political leader. “I am here to vacate Kapurthala House

(the official residence of Punjab Chief Minister in New Delhi). I am not going to meet any politician here,” he had told reporters. Singh’s media advisor Raveen Thukral played down his visit to Delhi. “Too much being read into Cap Amarinder Singh’s visit to Delhi. He’s on a personal visit, during which he’ll meet some friends and also vacate Kapurthala house for the new CM. No need for any unnecessary speculation,” Thukral said in a tweet yesterday.

In another development, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) working president Pawan Goel on Wednesday arrived at Navjot Singh Sidhu’s residence to meet him. Goel, who was accompanied by Congress MLA Inderjeet Singh, refused to comment on any of the questions asked by the media persons. Speaking to media persons here, Singh said, “I hope that the party leadership in Delhi will be resolving this issue with a positive attitude. We are here to discuss for the betterment of the Congress.”

Meanwhile, Punjab MLA Sukhwinder Singh Kaka Kamboj termed Sidhu’s resignation as PPCC chief “no less than a betrayal”. Kamboj said: “Sidhu was chosen over Sunil Jakhar, who worked all his life for Congress. If he (Sidhu) is still not happy, then he can never be happy. The situation in Punjab is a bit disturbing. The Gandhi family posed a lot of faith in him and then he did this.”

“One man leaving or joining the party does not affect our prospects to win the election. Congress will form the government again. What he did is no less than betrayal,” he added. On Tuesday, Sunil Jakhar had tweeted against Sidhu, saying, “It’s just not cricket! What stands compromised in this entire ‘episode’ is the faith reposed in the (outgoing?) PCC President by the Congress Leadership. No amount of grand standing can justify this breach of trust placing his benefactors in a peculiar predicament.”

Inputs from Anil Bhardwaj