Updated: June 17, 2021 8:53:41 am
After getting the report of a three-member committee — led by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge — on infighting in the Punjab Congress, AICC president Sonia Gandhi has ordered an independent survey for Punjab, general secretary in-charge Harish Rawat said on Wednesday. Rawat was also a part of the three-member committee.
The three-member Kharge committee, with JP Aggarwal and Harish Rawat as its members, had heard about 150 leaders — that included MLAs, MPs, leaders of frontal organisations, last election’s unsuccessful candidates, besides the CM and the PPCC chief. After that, the committee had submitted its report to Sonia Gandhi.
Talking to The Indian Express, Rawat, said that they had submitted a report to the AICC chief a few days ago, “She is now getting an independent survey of the state done.”
Rawat also expressed confidence that the party will be able to sort out the present crisis by the first week of July, “We will be giving a solution to the state Congress in the first week of July, when rainfall hits the region.”
The survey holds significance as several party leaders have complained to the committee that the party was losing in the perception game in the state as there were allegations of quid-pro-quo between the Congress and the Akalis. The leaders have also said that mafia rule, bureaucracy ruling the roost, anger over party not been able to deliver justice in Bargari sacrilege, Behbal Kalan and Kot Kapura firing cases, and the government not being able to get the envelope carrying a report of the STF on drugs opened, were also causes of genuine concern.
Rawat said that the situation in Punjab was a “complex issue” and there were “personalities involved.”
“Captain sahib is an honourable senior leader. Navjot Singh Sidhu is useful for the future. There are more leaders who are dyed-in-wool Congressmen and their families have been associated with the Congress. We will provide a solution that will hopefully please everyone. We hope to send it by the first week of July.”
He added that the party was trying to resolve its internal squabbles, but “there were many ifs and buts.”
On whether Navjot Singh Sidhu would be given the role in the government or party organisation, Rawat said, “Sidhu has been saying all along that he does not want to be a part of the government. I wanted him to be a part of the government right from the start. Now, we will have to see how to accommodate him,” he said. There were certain reports floating around that Sidhu may be offered the Deputy Chief Minister’s post in Punjab.
“It is difficult to handle emotional people. Sidhu is driven by emotions. I can assure you that there will be a solution,” Rawat said.