Amid a suspense over a possible truce between Navjot Singh Sidhu and CM Amarinder Singh, nearly 60 Congress MLAs gathered at the residence of new state party chief in Amritsar on Wednesday. Sidhu and Amarinder Singh has been at loggerheads for the past some time, with the Amritsar (East) MLA recently attacking the CM over the desecration cases.
The MLAs joined by Sidhu boarded luxury buses and went to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, where a large number of Congress supporters gathered.
The chief minister was also averse to his appointment as the state Congress chief. After Sidhu's elevation, the CM had said that he won’t meet him until the cricketer-turned-politician apologises for his "derogatory" tweets against him.
Sidhu and the legislators are also scheduled to visit the Durgiana temple and the Ram Tirath Sthal here.
On Tuesday, scores of Congress workers and Sidhu supporters had accorded a warm welcome to him when he arrived here after being appointed the state party chief.
Sidhu, a former MP from Amritsar, had switched over from the BJP to the Congress ahead of the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls.
On Wednesday, ministers Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, former state party chief Sunil Jakhar also reached here.
The party workers have put up posters of Sidhu at many places in the city.
Some party MLAs and supporters here claimed that nearly 60 legislators reached here after they were asked by Sidhu to reach Amritsar for paying obeisance at the Golden temple and other shrines.
MLA Madan Lal Jalalpur told reporters, “The 2022 elections will be won by the Congress in Sidhu's name and because of him. Today, entire Punjab wants him.”
“There is great enthusiasm among party workers after Sidhu's elevation. Our vote share will certainly go up,” he said.
On differences between Sidhu and Amarinder Singh, Jalalpur said, “The chief minister should welcome Sidhu with open arms. The chief minister also met Pratap Singh Bajwa who had been speaking against him. But Amarinder Singh's advisers are not guiding him properly.”
On Tuesday, the Punjab chief minister's media adviser had trashed media reports that Sidhu had sought time to meet Amarinder Singh.
The media adviser also said there was no change in stance, asserting that Amarinder will not meet Sidhu till he publicly tenders an apology for his “derogatory” tweets against him.
However, Jalalpur said there was no need for Sidhu to apologise, saying he is now the president of the state Congress.
“Why should he apologise. It is right that he should respect and he respects the chief minister but for what should he apologise,” asked Jalalpur.
There has been no reaction from the CM over Sidhu's elevation as the state Congress chief.
Earlier, senior Congress leader and cabinet minister Brahm Mahindra had ruled out any personal meeting with Sidhu till he resolves his issues with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Before going to Amritsar, Sidhu had been calling on ministers and legislators in Chandigarh to mobilise support in the past few days.
Sidhu had already met several ministers and MLAs.
After taking over as the state unit chief of the Congress, Sidhu had talked about the Punjab model, saying it will make the state prosperous again.
“An 18-point programme given by the Congress high command will make every Punjabi a shareholder and the power given by the people be returned in the shape of development,” he had said.
With PTI inputs