How important is Navjot Sidhu to Congress in Punjab?

 On Monday 27 September, just when the new Punjab ministers were taking charge of their new portfolios, Navjot Singh Sidhu stirred up the state politics by sharing his resignation from the post of Punjab Congress President on Twitter.

Two days later, he posted a video explaining the reasons for his resignation and said that he was upset with the appointments of "tainted" officials and leaders in the new Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi government.

Some party leaders are trying to persuade Navjot Singh Sidhu, but the question is whether the Congress party will remove these "tainted" leaders and officials to persuade Navjot Sidhu. And how far can the party go to convince Sidhu?

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Sidhu's stature

Navjot Sidhu was made the President of Punjab Congress just in July this year. However, the then Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was not happy with this decision.

For the last one year, Sidhu had been attacking him continuously for the decisions of Captain Sarkar, and not being able to take important decisions. Despite this, when Sidhu became the president of the party, it was bound to be a confrontation with Amarinder. But this happened that some other leaders also started speaking against the Captain and demanded his change. 

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The party called a meeting of the legislature party without informing the leader of the legislature party, Captain, and in the end, Amarinder Singh had to resign from the post of Chief Minister.

Senior journalist Jagtar Singh says that when there was a crisis in the Punjab Congress, Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa from Majha area started gathering MLAs.

He says, "Navjot Singh Sidhu was put forward. Since then Sidhu must have been apprehensive that people have come together because of me."

After the removal of the post of CM of Captain, Navjot Sidhu's post increased a lot in the party but not so much that he would have been made the Chief Minister.

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What did Navjot Singh Sidhu say after resigning from the post of Punjab Congress President?

Sidhu Super CM?

However, it is believed that he also prevented Sukhwinder Singh Randhawa, the choice of MLAs, from becoming the Chief Minister. In the end, Charanjit Channi became the Chief Minister - the first CM of Punjab to come from a Scheduled Caste. Dalits constitute almost a third of the population in Punjab and this move of the Congress was seen as a good political initiative to influence the vote bank of the Dalits.

On the other hand, when Sidhu was initially seen with Channi and it seemed that he is the Super CM and Channi is just a face. But those who know Channi know that he is by no means a rubber stamp leader. And Channi did not delay in proving this.

First the names of cabinet ministers came in which it was clear that Sidhu did not do anything special. But when Sidhu's candidates were sidelined even in the Director General of Police and Advocate General, it was clear that what Sidhu is seeking is not happening at all.

 AG and DG

The present AG had fought the case against the Punjab government in favor of former DGP Sumedh Saini and also got him bail, which was a big blow to the Punjab government.

Without naming DGP Iqbal Singh Sahota, Sidhu says that such people have been appointed on special posts who gave clean chit to Badals (former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his family).

The Punjab Police, however, dismissed the allegation that Sahota had done such a thing.

The matter is of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib which is a big issue in Punjab and is related to the sentiments of the people.

In the year 2015, outside the Gurdwara Sahib in Bargadi village, posters were put up in derogatory language and sacrilege with the Guru Granth Sahib, considered the holy of Sikhs. After this incident, there was widespread anger among the Sikhs and there were protests in many places.

The sacrilege case was investigated by the Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota-led SIT. After this the investigation was given to the CBI. In the case, while arresting two Gursikh youths of the village itself, they were called accused, but later giving them a clean chit, 7 others were named and 5 were arrested.

In this case, Sidhu has expressed his displeasure over the wrongly being accused of two people.

They have also been saying continuously that the culprits of sacrilege will be punished. In such a situation, he says that when such officers have been imposed, then how can justice be expected.

Apart from this, Sidhu also has objections to "tainted" leaders. Although he has not named anyone.

Jagtar Singh says that this is also believed to be a reason for Navjot Sidhu's displeasure. "Channi should now clarify the appointments himself," he says.

Charanjit Channi says there is no "ego" in him and these decisions may be revisited. But will the Congress first change the officer and then the minister to persuade Sidhu?

 " Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi with Sidhu


Professor Khalid Mohammad of Chandigarh-based Panjab University says that if CM Channi cancels these appointments under pressure, then his own position will be questioned and a new crisis will arise. If he turns back on his decision, will he be able to gain public trust again?

Then what should the party do?

Professor Khalid says that the party should accept those who have resigned. He says, "The next elections are to be held in a few months and the government should take good decisions in the interest of the people."

Image caption

Navjot Singh Sidhu with Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi

How important is Sidhu?

There is no doubt that when Sidhu gives speeches, he still attracts people with his passionate, aggressive and interesting style. Now people's opinion can be different on how many of them vote for the party because of them or because of them.

Senior journalist Jagtar Singh says, "I personally feel that Navjot Sidhu has become the most famous leader recently but now he has lost his credibility by showing haste."

So Sidhu is important for the Congress, but some people of the party say that it is not that the party will suffer a lot due to his non-presidency or not being in the party.


Captain Amarinder Singh called Sidhu a fool and praised CM Channi

But at least this time the problem is that if the issues raised by Sidhu are not answered in time, it can prove to be very harmful for the party.

Opposition parties will also leave no stone unturned to capitalize on these issues during elections.