Rawat trying to bridge gulf between Sidhu and Amarinder

Congress state in-charge for Punjab, Harish Rawat, is trying to bridge the gulf between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu, a former minister in the Punjab Cabinet.

In the last two days, Rawat has met both Amarinder Singh and Singh Sidhu to find a solution that is acceptable to all, sources said.

While Sidhu has said that he had a cordial meeting with Rawat, sources said that there is still no breakthrough as the cricketer-turned-politician is keen to become the Punjab Congress President or get back his earlier portfolio of local urban body. But Amarinder Singh is not in favour of both the demands and wants to give only the energy portfolio to the former cricketer.

On March 9, Sidhu had tweeted, “The system was never broken, it was built this way… a selected few pocket the states exchequer, overriding the welfare of the people of Punjab. The power and tax money of the people must return to the people in the form of development!”

Rawat met Sidhu a day after a meeting with Amarinder Singh, and sources said the Congress general secretary shared various options with Sidhu according to his status.

A proposal for a meeting between the three has been made by Rawat and the meeting is expected to take place soon as the Budget session of the Punjab Assembly has ended. The Congress leadership is also keen to adjust Sidhu in the state government.

Sidhu had resigned as a Cabinet minister in July 2019 after differences with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh over portfolio allocation. Sidhu was in-charge of local bodies but was then shifted to the power department.

However, the simmering tension between the two leaders reached a boiling point when Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur was denied a party ticket for the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, sources said.