With a section of party leaders accusing him of playing “mind games” with the high command, former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is all set to meet Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday evening to discuss “Punjab’s resurrection” on a day when the Congress Working Committee (CWC) is meeting in Delhi.
Sidhu is already facing the prospect of disciplinary action for his alleged anti-party activities after the party’s Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Chaudhary recommended issuance of show-cause notice by the disciplinary committee against him.
Chaudhary had written to party chief Sonia Gandhi that that he had received a note from Sidhu’s successor and Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, stressing that the former cricketer and television personality could not be allowed to project himself “above the party”. Earlier, the party had removed Sunil Jakhar from all party posts for “anti-party remarks”.
The complaint was forwarded to the AICC’s Disciplinary Committee, but its meeting was postponed due to the non-availability of all committee members.
Sidhu had tweeted about the meeting with Mann on Sunday. “Will meet CM @BhagwantMann tomorrow at 5.15 pm in Chandigarh to discuss matters regarding the revival of Punjab’s economy… Punjab’s resurrection is only possible with an honest collective effort….”
Significantly, Congress sources said that Sidhu had not informed Warring about his meeting with the Chief Minister. Sources said the state unit top brass had ‘flagged’ his meeting with the CM, claiming it to be undermining the state leadership.
What has confused the state leadership is Sidhu’s shifting stand on Mann leadership of late. In a recent tweet, he called the CM an “honest man”, followed by release of a video on drug peddlers selling consignments to take a dig at his government.
“These are mind games. The party has been left confused. Maybe an attempt to put pressure on high command before they take any decision on any disciplinary action against him,” commented a leader.
Sidhu’s recent meeting with strategist Prashant Kishor in Delhi has also triggered curiosity with some sections claiming that eventually Sidhu could join hands with Kishore for a political alliance.
A section of Congress insiders said the issue was likely to drag, as the party did not want to give him an opportunity to play the ‘victim’ card.