A meeting at tea has sparked off furry speculation over whether the nagging bickering within the Punjab Congress will finally come to an end in an election year.
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has invited his bête noir and senior party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for tea on Wednesday as he celebrates four years of his government in the state. Importantly, on the agenda according to sources, is to discuss ways to rehabilitate Sidhu who quit the Cabinet about two years back over his differences with the Chief Minister.
Party sources have indicated that finally Sidhu may agree for a return to the Cabinet as he was being offered a position as per his ‘potential and status’. This will be the second such meeting between the two in the last five months with the two meeting earlier on November 25 last year for the first time after Sidhu had quit in 2019.
But nothing concrete had been arrived at the last meeting triggering reports of a massive showdown between the two.
Sidhu had even skipped the lunch hosted by the Captain for his MLAs to celebrate his granddaughter’s marriage. The Wednesday’s meeting, however, is being held in the backdrop of hectic parleys initiated by the party in charge Harish Rawat who has been eager to get Sidhu back into the active political mainstream.
“Captain saab and Sidhu are brothers. They will sit down and talk and try to evolve a way for the party for the coming future,” Rawat told News18.com. Sidhu has been tweeting cryptic tweets off late triggering reports of his ‘unhappiness’ over the party affairs but party sources maintained that given the intervention of the party high command, he was planning to tone down his aggression and instead ‘talk’ out differences with the Chief Minister. Sources said that Sidhu may be offered the portfolio of his choice which includes local government, housing or power.
The cricketer-turned- politician though has been eyeing the post of the Punjab Congress Committee (PCC) chief but that for now seems to have been stonewalled by the CM who is keen to get a Dalit face for the post. Sources said that Wednesday’s meeting would be crucial to clear out the role for Sidhu in the party affairs before the two set out for the party’s campaign in West Bengal polls.
Both Sidhu and Capt Amarinder are listed as star campaigners for the party during the poll campaign in West Bengal.