The ongoing Punjab crisis and the recent high-profile exits from the Congress prompted its Group of 23 (the group that wrote to Sonia Gandhi demanding sweeping changes in the party structure) to once again express concern over what they called was the continuing drift in the party.
Underlining that the Congress needed to ask itself why leaders were leaving it, senior party leader Kapil Sibal said Wednesday: “In our party, at the moment, there is no president, so we don’t know who is taking these decisions. We know and yet we don’t know.”
Sibal’s press conference followed a letter to Sonia Gandhi by a fellow member of the Group of 23, Ghulam Nabi Azad. Both Azad and Sibal again demanded elections to the post of the party president and a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
Two days after the swearing-in of the rejigged Punjab Congress Cabinet, PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu Tuesday dropped his resignation bomb, tweeting out the letter to Sonia Gandhi about him stepping down as state Congress chief. But what led him to take this step days after the resignation of his bête noire, Capt Amarinder Singh, as Chief Minister? Here are five reasons.
The Cabinet composition
Just a few hours before the new Cabinet was sworn in, six ministers from Doaba region shot off a letter to Sidhu against the elevation of Rana Gurjit Singh, pointing out that he had resigned from the ministry in 2018 due to allegations of graft in a sand mining case.
It is learnt that Sidhu too was against the inclusion of Rana Gurjit, the MLA from Kapurthala, but the Congress high command went ahead with its move, choosing instead to remove Kuljit Singh Nagra, working president of PPCC, considered close to Sidhu.
Apart from calling Sidhu and “unstable” man, Amarinder, in a statement, further termed the resignation “sheer drama”, adding that it showed that Sidhu was preparing the ground to quit the Congress and join hands with someone other party in the run-up to the state Assembly polls.
“I had been saying all along that this man is unstable and dangerous, and cannot be entrusted with the task of running Punjab,” the heavy-hitting former CM said, adding that Sidhu had also proved to be absolutely incompetent during his stint as a minister in his government.