Punjab Congress tangle: Of its own making, high command has to resolve it - The Tribune India

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Punjab Congress tangle

Of its own making, high command has to resolve it

Punjab Congress tangle

Whatever be the public averments about issues of corruption, private greed for power has triggered this crisis in the party and the government. File photo



The Congress party and its leaders are on a self-destructive path, hurtling towards a sure disaster for no compelling reason. The resignation of Punjab unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu just 72 days after his appointment, and also that of his acolytes, including minister Razia Sultana, have left the state government in suspended animation. This is surely not what the people of Punjab deserve in the election year after having given an unequivocal mandate to the Congress in 2017. Whatever be the public averments about issues of corruption, private greed for power has triggered this crisis in the party and the government.

The central leadership of the Congress party has to be squarely blamed for this crisis. Punjab is just one of the three states where the party has a government of its own. While letting the government drift for over four years with no checks or balances or an audit of all the election promises — action against the sacrilege accused, political patronage of drug rackets, illegal sand mining, liquor mafia, et al — the high command brought in Sidhu as PCC president after months of ugly, open infighting. Instead of effecting the change in government and the party at one go, if at all it had to be done, the leadership allowed the political situation to fester further to finally push Capt Amarinder Singh out in a cavalier gesture that betrayed lack of grace.

The high command was publicly seen to be micromanaging the new Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s elevation, choice of his Cabinet with the inclusion of a tainted minister and even the appointment of officers including that of the Advocate General; most of which have now become a bone of contention between Sidhu and Channi. Such micromanagement can only be counterproductive as it does not leave space for the high command to remain an unbiased appellate authority. The jury is still out on Sidhu’s resignation: is it just another of his tantrums or a shrewd political move to fulfil his chief ministerial ambitions? This tangle is of the high command’s own making and it has to resolve it.


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