In a stunning development, Navjot Singh Sidhu has resigned as Punjab Congress chief just days after Amarinder Singh was replaced as Punjab Chief Minister in a series of events that had his approval.
In his resignation letter to Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi posted on social media, Navjot Sidhu wrote, “The collapse of a man’s character stems from the compromise corner. I can never compromise on Punjab’s future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab. Therefore, I hereby resign as the President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. I will continue to serve the Congress.”
Sidhu’s resignation, months before the Punjab going into polls has shocked the Congress party’s leadership and is seen as a huge blow, since the Gandhis were already warned about appointing Mr Sidhu as Punjab Congress chief.
This shocking move comes at a time when the new Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, seen as the close aid of Mr Sidhu, was making changes to the Punjab cabinet.
Even though Navjot Sidhu was broadly regarded to act as “Super Chief Minister” in some decisions, he was reportedly not consulted or was ignored in recent top controversial appointments.
According to sources, Navjot Singh Sidhu was upset and believed that these appointments countered his pronouncements to fight corruption. Therefore, Mr Sidhu using the word “compromise” twice in his resignation letter is seen as a clue to some unpleasant choices in the cabinet shuffle.
His resignation delivers a huge blow to the Punjab Congress, leaving it struggling ahead of polls, and also calls to question the decisions of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had set the stage for Captain Amarinder Singh’s exit, has now himself quit his post, though he says that he will “continue to serve the Congress”.
Mr Sidhu’s move comes on a day when Amarinder Singh has visited Delhi. Although his visit is described as “personal”, yet there are speculations about a possible meeting between the Captain and the Bhartiya Janata Party.