Will work as a team, say Navjot Singh Sidhu, Capt Amarinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh on dais, the new PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu today stressed that Punjab’s “real issues” needed to be resolved. Speaking at his installation as the new Punjab Pradesh Congress chief, Sidhu gave a call to the Congress workers to empower the common man through the Punjab model envisaged by him.

My first mission as the PPCC president is to use every resource in the state to protect the interests of farmers. Navjot Singh Sidhu

After months of deadlock, Captain and Sidhu were seen together on the stage, indicating efforts by the party high command to put up a show of unity. Even as both leaders announced they would work as a team in the run-up to the Assembly elections, their body language on the stage and at the tea party at Punjab Bhawan preceding the installation ceremony showed some discomfort. Sidhu and the four PPCC working presidents — Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Kuljit Singh Nagra and Pawan Goel — assumed charge at the Punjab Congress Bhawan amid deafening sloganeering. The party headquarters was jam-packed. Roads leading to the party headquarters were lined with vehicles.

Speaking at the event, the CM referred to his ties with Sidhu’s family. “When Sidhu was born in 1963, I was in the Army. When I left the Army in 1970, my mother asked me to join politics. She said meet Bhagwan Singh Sidhu (father of Navjot Sidhu). He helped me enter politics... When party president Sonia Gandhi told me that Sidhu will be the next Congress chief in Punjab, I said whatever the high command decides, I will abide by the decision,” he said.

Hitting out at his critics, Sidhu said: “I have no ego, I will work with all party workers shoulder to shoulder. The Congress stands united today, contrary to what the Opposition says.” He went on to add: “Farmers sitting in Delhi, the problems of doctors and nurses are the ‘real’ issues. Who is accountable for the deaths due to drug overdose? I will hold all of them accountable.”

But unease evident at installation & tea

  • Body language of leaders indicated unease on stage, at tea
  • Congress Bhawan jam-packed; roads to venue lined with vehicles; slogans during ceremony
  • CM recalls ties with Sidhu’s father; Sidhu hits out at critics

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