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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Verka’s letter to Sonia makes no mention of Sidhu, talks of ‘misunderstandings’

It has come to light that Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka's letter to Sonia Gandhi makes no mention of Navjot Singh Sidhu and instead talks about “misunderstandings and gaps between senior Congress leadership in the state”.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh |
Updated: April 27, 2021 8:26:47 am
Punjab Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka (Express Photo: Jaipal Singh, File)

Contrary to the claims made by Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka, that he has written a letter to the Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to ‘rein in’ fellow Congressman and former Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, it has come to light that his letter makes no mention of Sidhu and instead talks about “misunderstandings and gaps between senior Congress leadership in the state”.

Verka had claimed a few days back that “Sidhu is coming out with something or the other every day. I have requested the high command to intervene, call him to Delhi and sort out the issue”.

However, a copy of the letter written by Verka on April 21, perused by The Indian Express, shows that the MLA has made no such suggestion.

After perfunctory paragraphs highlighting the pandemic situation in India and Punjab and problems being created for farmers by the centre due to new agriculture produce policies, Verka states: “The open verbal strain and interpretation surfacing in the media and also on social media platforms are creating misunderstandings and gaps between senior Congress leadership in the state of Punjab.”

Verka goes on to write, “We can sense that this happens due to communication gap between senior leadership, which requires swift intervention of high command to solve this on urgent basis.” He highlights that Harish Rawat, the state in-charge of the party, “has done multiple meetings with all leaderships and locals to resolve all minor and major issues including SC/BC matters of Punjab, which require promptness to achieve what he started for the success of ‘Mission 2022’ as per Congress agenda”.

Not mentioning either Navjot Singh Sidhu or the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh throughout the latter, Verka advocates forming of a committee to sort out local issues.

“It’s the right time to form a new coordination committee of senior leaders for permanent solution of local issues on party platform for upcoming Punjab Legislative Assembly election in 2022,” he said.

Raj Kumar Verka also highlighted that the Congress workers were disheartened in the state.

“I would like to draw your kind attention that Congress workers are disheartened in the state owing to the party reorganisation and being dissolved the Punjab Pradesh Committee and District Congress Committees almost for one and a half years in the state,” the letter said.

The Congress MLA ends the letter by requesting Sonia Gandhi to “intervene in the present political issues/scenario” by inviting her attention to immediately resolve the gaps, issues/reorganising the structure to begin with the election campaign for the upcoming state assembly election”.

Verka’s comments about writing a letter to Sonia Gandhi about Sidhu had been made after Navjot Singh Sidhu held press conferences and made several tweets attacking Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh for not taking action against those guilty of cases of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and the police firing on Sikh devotees.

Sidhu had alleged that there had been a distinct lack of intent by the start government in taking the cases to their logical conclusion and had said that the people of the state were feeling cheated by the Congress government for inaction on its part. Lately, Navjot Sidhu has once again tweeted, taking the names of former Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal and his son and former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, questioning why they had not been named in any challan by the Punjab Police and why their names did not figure in any FIR.

I never said I named Sidhu: Verka

Speaking to The Indian Express, Raj Kumar Verka said that his words had been twisted by the media to include the reference to Navjot Singh Sidhu. “I had never said this. My letter was addressed to Sonia ji and copy to Harish Rawat ji. How could I reveal details of the letter. However, a television channel referred to my letter by joining the issue of Sidhu,” said Verka.

He added that his entire intention behind writing the letter was constructive and that given the fact that Punjab faced the twin challenges of agriculture procurement and the Covid pandemic, the party should solve the misunderstandings between leaders. “My whole concern as a Congressman is that the issues should get resolved so that we can work towards fighting the coming elections,” Verka said.

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