In a surprise move, Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from the post of Punjab Congress president on Tuesday. The announcement came days after Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi was appointed the Chief Minister of Punjab following the ouster of Captain Amarinder Singh.
Sidhu’s resignation came within three hours after new ministers in CM Charanjit Singh Channi’s cabinet were given portfolios on Tuesday.
Sidhu shared news of his resignation as chief of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee on his Twitter account.
Soon after Sidhu's announcement, former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, who has for long been engaged in a public tussle with Sidhu, tweeted "I told you so". He added that Sidhu is not "stable" unfit for the "border state" of Punjab.
I told you so…he is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of punjab.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) September 28, 2021
The resignation comes amid buzz ahead of former Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh's visit to Delhi. Singh will be reaching Delhi from, Chandigarh today and is expected to meet with BJP top command including Amit Shah and JP Nadda.
Sidhu was appointed as the PPCC chief in July despite opposition by Amarinder Singh. Singh had resigned as the CM on September 18 and had later declared that he was "humiliated" and that he would not accept the former PPCC President as the party or CM face in the Assembly polls next month. He had also taken a dig at the Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, calling them 'inexperienced'.
Responding to the news of Sidhu's resignation, new Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi said that he was not aware. "I am not aware of Sidhu's resignation. I am very confident that Sidhu will not leave the party. We will sort out any issues that he may be having."
'Not leaving Congress'
Meanwhile, In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Sidhu confirmed he will continue to serve the party. Sidhu had taken over as the state party chief in July this year.
"The collapse of a man's character stems from the compromise corner, I can never compromise on Punjab's future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab," he wrote in the letter.
"Therefore, I hereby resign as the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Will continue to serve the Congress," he further wrote.
Why did Sidhu resign?
No official reason for Sidhu resigning from the Punjab Congress chief post was given.
However, Sidhu is believed to be upset over the recent developments in the state—from the non-inclusion of some Members of Legislative Assembly in the recently-expanded cabinet of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and the appointment of Punjab's new Advocate General, Amar Preet Singh Deo which created a furore.
Deol, who has, among his various high-profile cases, represented Punjab's tainted ex-DGP, Sumedh Singh Saini, was appointed through an official notification on Monday. Chief Minister Charanjit Channi has tried to downplay the controversy saying the case was just another one taken up in the course of Deol's professional duties.
Sidhu’s resignation has put Congress in a spot. Sidhu had replaced Sunil Jakhar as Congress in June after much power tussle between him and former chief minister Amarinder Singh. Congress leadership was preparing to project Sidhu as the chief ministerial candidate for the 2022 assembly elections before Charanjit Singh Channi was named chief minister after Amarinder Singh resigned in “humiliation” earlier this month.
(With inputs from PTI)