Senior Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu is likely to appear before a two-member AICC panel in Delhi on Thursday. This would be the second time when Sidhu will appear before an AICC panel amid infighting in the Congress' Punjab unit ahead of the Assembly elections.
The two-member panel was set up to resolve the differences between Sidhu and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. It comprises senior leaders Ambika Soni and Salman Khurshid.
Sidhu had earlier appeared before a three-member panel led by senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge in Delhi. It was constituted by Sonia to end factionalism in the Punjab Congress ahead of Assembly elections early next year.
The panel had earlier submitted a report to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, suggesting that Navjot Singh Sidhu be 'suitably accommodated'.
Sidhu is at loggerheads with CM Amarinder and both have publicly given statements against each other in the media, with Sidhu criticising the CM for not bringing the guilty to book in the Kotkapura sacrilege incident. Sidhu had quit the Amarinder Singh cabinet in July 2019 after being divested of the local bodies portfolio and has been in the political wilderness since.
Notably, Sidhu's name is doing the rounds for deputy CM, but CM Amarinder is opposed to the move. It is also learned that Sidhu wants the post of PCC chief, but Amarinder is opposed to this idea as well. The CM, however, has no objection to Sidhu joining the Cabinet.
Earlier on Tuesday, Amarinder Singh had met the Kharge-led panel in Delhi. AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former MP J P Aggarwal, who are the other members of the panel, were also present during the over three-hour meeting. This is the second occasion in recent times that Singh has met the panel. He had earlier met its members at the AICC headquarters, before the submission of the panel report.
Meanwhile, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is also learned to have stepped in and is meeting some key leaders of the Congress from Punjab, including some sitting MPs, legislators and ministers.