Navjot Singh Sidhu took over the reins of Congress’s Punjab unit as the party president on Friday with Chief Amarinder Singh in attendance on the dais.
His first speech as the state party unit chief hinted at his approach towards managing the affairs there. “I will work shoulder-to-shoulder with the Chief Minister. I have no ego…The Congress is united today, contrary to what our opposition is saying,” he said. However, in a subtle reference to the recent state of affairs before he was elected as the president, Sidhu added, “Those who oppose me help in my improvement.”
Earlier in the day, Amarinder Singh and Sidhu met at the Punjab Bhawan during a ‘tea party’. Their meeting, coming after months of confrontation between the two, likely marks the end of the political crisis in the state party unit.
Singh arrived at Punjab Bhawan a few minutes after Sidhu. The ‘tea party’ comes ahead of Sindhu’s appointment to his new role today. The promotion of Sidhu, strongly opposed by the chief minister’s camp, was announced earlier this week. Sidhu replaces Sunil Jakhar as the Punjab Congress president.
On Thursday, Sidhu reached out to Singh, inviting him for the installation ceremony of the new state Congress committee team. The CM had accepted the invite after two of the newly appointed working presidents of PPCC, Kuljit Singh Nagra and Sangat Singh Gilzian, reached his residence carrying a letter signed by 56 MLAs, including Sidhu.
Sidhu even wrote to the chief minister saying, “I have no personal agenda, only pro-people agenda. Thus, as the eldest of our Punjab Congress family, I request you to please come and bless the new team of PCC.”