JALANDHAR: Earlier that is fruitful for Captain Amarinder Singh in 2015, that get supported for several MLAs to build pressure on the party high command to get Partap Singh Bajwa replaced as the Punjab Congress president, is now working for Navjot Singh Sidhu. It is the perception among MLAs and prospective candidates that Sidhu could help them win their seats in the 2022 assembly elections that has made them welcome his appointment as PCC president despite Amarinder’s serious objections and unhappiness.
It,s believed that in 2015 amrinder, not bajwa, could lead them to victory. Amarinder enjoyed such support from party MLAs and other senior leaders that Bajwa was isolated and the high command was forced to replace him. However, the CM is now facing the anti-incumbency and several questions about his government’s working about. The same set of MLAs and a few ministers, especially the Majha brigade of three ministers, who were in the forefront to organise support for him in 2015, have now sided with Sidhu for the same reason.
Disimilar Amarinder, who Mobilized the MLAs behind himself in 2015 and started holding public functions under ‘mission punjab-2017’, Sidhu appeared to be plodding alone. He remained inaccessible to most of the party leaders but stood his ground in questioning the CM through his tweets. It was Amarinder’s direct attack on Sidhu, challenging him to contest from Patiala, that made the ex-cricketer emerge as the main challenger. This was the beginning of Sidhu’s solid his fight within the party.
Of the several events that made Amarinder lose ground in this battle and worked in Sidhu’s favour, three left a marked impression — warning to Pargat by the CM’s close aide, reported use of dossiers on MLAs which Amarinder later denied and the decision to appoint sons of two MLAs as police inspector and naib tehsildar.
Thereafter, outgoing PCC president Sunil Jakhar’s move on Sunday forenoon to call a meeting of party MLAs and District Congress Committee presidents made the central leadership to announce Sidhu’s appointment with four working presidents. After the announcement, Jakhar later cancelled the meeting.