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Factionalism in Punjab Congress: Panel submits report to Sonia, Amarinder will continue as Chief Minister


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New Delhi. The Congress panel, set up to remove factionalism in the party in Punjab, on Thursday submitted its report to the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi. Sources said the panel has not recommended the removal of the Punjab chief minister and Captain Amarinder Singh is likely to lead the party in the next election. Instead, several reforms have been suggested in the party’s state unit.

Though the fate of Navjot Singh Sidhu is still unclear, sources said the panel wants his reinstatement in the Punjab cabinet. Sources said that Amarinder Singh is opposed to Sidhu being made the deputy chief minister, but is ready to induct him in the cabinet.

Last week senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress’ Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat and former MP J. The committee headed by P. Agarwal met all the stakeholders of the party. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also met the three-member Congress panel.

After the meeting, Amarinder Singh had said, the meeting was to discuss the preparations for the assembly elections to be held early next year. These are discussions within our party and I cannot share them with you.

The rift in the Punjab Congress came to the fore after former cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu opened a front against Pargat Singh’s chief minister.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) was forced to set up a committee to listen to the grievances of Punjab leaders when a group led by Sidhu suggested a change in the state leadership. However, sources said that there is no discussion on replacing Amarinder Singh yet.

Sources said the Congress wants to pacify Sidhu and retain him in the party without making any major changes, making some minor adjustments.

–IANS

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