Senior Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday took charge as the chief of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee in the presence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh at the Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh. Earlier today, Sidhu met Singh ahead over the latter's tea party. The two leaders sat next to each other and the meeting between them was cordial.
According to news agency ANI, Amarinder arrived at Punjab Bhawan shortly after the newly appointed Congress chief arrived there. Sidhu left from the Bhawan 10 minutes after the arrival of the CM and later rejoined the gathering there.
The meeting between the two leaders and Singh's attendance at Sidhu's coronation is a signal of a truce in the dissension-driven party months ahead of the Assembly polls.
Besides Sidhu, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel and Kuljit Singh Nagra also took charge as the working presidents.
Sidhu and Amarinder Singh have been at loggerheads for the past some time, with the Amritsar (East) MLA recently attacking the CM over the desecration cases. After Sidhu's elevation, the CM had said that he won’t meet him until the cricketer-turned-politician apologises for his "derogatory" tweets against him. Notably, the Chief Minister was averse to Sidhu's appointment as the state Congress chief.
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi had on Sunday appointed Sidhu as the new president of the party's Punjab unit, notwithstanding the strong opposition from Amarinder Singh. She also appointed four working presidents, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel and Kuljit Singh Nagra, to assist Sidhu in the run-up to the next Assembly elections.
Earlier on Wednesday, in what was seen as a show of strength, nearly 60 Congress MLAs gathered at the residence of Sidhu in Amritsar, amid suspense over a possible truce between him and Amarinder. The Congress has 80 MLAs in the state Assembly.