Orders to Navjot Sidhu clear, strengthen Congress as Punjab chief: Rawat; PCC chief says will abide by Gandhis’ call

PCC issue will be formally be clarified by Friday, says Rawat; to brief Sonia on Sidhu’s concerns

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14

Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday said he had conveyed his concerns about the state of affairs to the party and would abide by whatever decision the Gandhis take, even as party leaders reiterated that the orders to Sidhu were clear and these were to strengthen the Congress organisation in the state as Punjab chief.

AICC general secretary, Punjab, Harish Rawat said Sidhu had been appointed state chief to work and empower the party in Punjab and he has said today that he would abide by the decision of the party.

“Mr Sidhu clearly said today that the decision of Gandhis would be acceptable to him and he would follow it. The party’s orders to Mr Sidhu are clear. As Punjab Congress president he should strengthen the party and the organisation in the state,” Harish Rawat said after emerging from a nearly one-and-a-half-hour meeting with Sidhu.

Sidhu discussed his issues with AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal and Rawat at AICC headquarters today and reiterated his concerns about Punjab.

Venugopal later said the party will formally clear the air on Sidhu in the next 12 to 16 hours even as indications were that Sidhu would be asked to continue and some of his issues might be addressed.

Sidhu after the meeting said, “I have conveyed all my concerns to the party.

I have full faith in Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi that whatever decision they take will be in the interest of Congress and Punjab.”

Responding to queries on his resignation, Sidhu said, “I have always considered the Gandhis supreme and have followed their directions. Their decision will be supreme for me.”

Rawat said the discussions with Sidhu were positive.

“Mr Sidhu will give you some good news soon,” said Rawat who will brief Sonia Gandhi on the discussions before the party formally clarifies matters within a day.

Asked about whether the party would address Sidhu’s concerns on which he appeared steadfast. Rawat said “This is between him and us. He has already said he trusts the leadership to do what’s best for Punjab.”

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