July 20, 2021 2:54:19 am
In a show of strength a day after he was named PPCC chief by the Congress high command, former Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu met 40 Congress MLAs, who had reached Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa’s official residence for high tea organised to ‘welcome Sidhu’. CM Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, did not congratulate Sidhu on his elevation on Monday.
While Amarinder met several party leaders separately through the day at his official residence, including some ministers and MLAs, his office dismissed reports that he had called MLAs and MPs for lunch on July 21.
Apart from the CM, Congress MPs from Punjab and around 10 Cabinet ministers also did not congratulate Sidhu.
Sidhu, however, was able to garner support from five Cabinet ministers — Sukhjinder Randhawa, Tript Bajwa, Charanjeet Singh Channi, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Razia Sultana, who were among those who had reached Bajwa’s residence.
Former PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar attended the high tea and told the media that he hoped that everything will be sorted out between Amarinder and Sidhu.
On Amarinder not congratulating Sidhu, Jakhar said, “Captain Sahib has a big heart. Everything will soon be okay.”
Earlier during the day, Sidhu thanked the Gandhis for the responsibility entrusted to him and said that his journey had just begin and he will work to return power to the people of Puniab.
In his first tweet after being appointed as PPCC chief, Sidhu, while remembering his father, wrote: “To share prosperity, privilege & freedom not just among a few but among all, my father a Congress worker left a royal household & joined freedom struggle, was sentenced to death for his patriotic work reprieved by King’s Amnesty became DCC President, MLA, MLC & Advocate General.”
In another tweet, he said, “Today, to work further for the same dream and strengthen the invincible fort of @INCIndia, Punjab. I am grateful to Hon’ble Congress President Sonia Gandhi Ji, Shri @RahulGandhi Ji & Smt @priyankagandhi Ji for bestowing their faith in me & giving me this pivotal responsibility.”
Among the 40 MLAs, who attended the high tea at Bajwa’s residence were those who had issued a statement in favour of the Chief Minister Sunday.
Sidhu camp said that he has been hosted by about 50 MLAs till now.
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