AICC panel on Punjab meets Rahul post SAD-BSP pact

Proposes widespread revamp of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee

AICC panel on Punjab meets Rahul post SAD-BSP pact

Rahul Gandhi. File photo

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13

The Congress appears to be in a rush to resolve the Punjab crisis with the AICC panel on the state holding an hour-long discussion with Rahul Gandhi on Sunday.

The meeting assumes significance in the light of the SAD and BSP announcing a pre-poll arrangement marking a shift of political equations ahead of the 2022 state Assembly elections.

AICC panel chairman Mallikarjun Kharge and members Harish Rawat and JP Agarwal discussed issues confronting the Punjab unit and the government with Rahul and answered his queries on the issue.

The panel had earlier this week submitted its report to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and backed the continuance of CM Capt Amarinder Singh at the helm, suitable accommodation of former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and other sections of society and revamp of the state unit to make it ready for the polls.

The SAD-BSP alliance was also discussed at today’s meeting. The pact will exert greater pressure on the Congress to project Dalit leaders in Punjab.

The committee has proposed widespread revamp of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, although the decision on the nature of accommodation of leaders has been left to Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress is to first decide whether it wants to replace incumbent state chief Sunil Jakhar. “There is nothing against Jakhar as such. If he is replaced, he will have to be given a suitable post,” a party source said.

The CM favours a Hindu for the post of state chief or a Dalit. The party is actively considering a state president and a few working presidents for Punjab apart from more than one deputy CM. The AICC panel is likely to meet Sonia Gandhi before a final call is taken.