In a clear show of strength, Navjot Singh Sidhu, who became the head of the Punjab Congress on Sunday, after months of a bitter, polarizing row between him and Prime Minister Amarinder Singh, brought a group of 62 MLAs to the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Wednesday. The leaders are likely to visit Durgiana Mandir and Ram Tirath Sthal.
Sidhu had invited all 77 congressional lawmakers to pay their respects at the Golden Temple before formally taking over the role of the Punjab Congress leader, but only 62 of them showed up at this residence in Amritsar, according to his aides.
“I have taken the oath. The progress of Punjab is my motive. The progress of Punjab is my progress,” said Sidhu.
Arriving in Amritsar on Tuesday, Sidhu was greeted enthusiastically when he reached Amritsar after becoming the PPCC chief. Sidhu paid a visit to Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh, yesterday to pay tribute to the freedom fighter at his memorial.
In Nawanshahr, he was joined by MLA’s Kuljit Singh Nagra, one of the four working presidents appointed by Congress, Raj Kumar Verka, Angad Saini, Sukhpal Bhullar, Inderbir Singh Bolaria and Gurpreet Singh GP. There was heavy police deployment in the area and barricades were erected.
After paying floral tributes, Sidhu, along with other party leaders, headed for Amritsar. Dozens of congressmen and supporters welcomed the cricketer turned politician as he arrived at the main gateway, the Golden Gate in Amritsar.
Party leaders who welcomed Sidhu included MLAs Inderbir Singh Baloria, Raj Kumar Verka, Sunil Dutti, Sukhwinder Singh Danny and leader Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lali. Sidhu’s supporters and party employees danced to the beats of a “dhol”.
In many places in the city, party workers have put up posters of Sidhu.
Before going to his home, Sidhu went to a hospital for treatment for his injury to the toe of his right foot. His toe nail broke at Khatkar Kalan in Nawanshahr. He was fired after getting dressed.
Congress Speaker Sonia Gandhi on Sunday appointed Navjot Singh Sidhu as the new president of the party’s Punjab unit, despite strong opposition from Prime Minister Amarinder Singh. Gandhi also appointed four working presidents to assist Sidhu in the run-up to the next parliamentary election.
Day after his appointment, Sidhu pledged Monday to work with every “member of the Cong family” to fulfill the “Jittega Punjab” mission. The 57-year-old cricketer-turned-politician who had a busy day summoning leaders and ministers, thanked the Congress leadership for appointing him as head of the Punjab unit, and claimed he was organizing the party in would strengthen the state.
Sidhu had arrived in Chandigarh on Monday morning and met several party leaders, including former Prime Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhathal, Ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Charanjit Singh, Razia Sultana and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.
He also shared a photo of his father with India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. “To share prosperity, privilege and freedom, not just among a few, but among all, my father, a congressman, left a royal house and joined the freedom struggle, was sentenced to death for his patriotic work. , MLC and Solicitor General,” Sidhu added in a Twitter post.
Sidhu arrived in Chandigarh from Patiala on Monday morning along with MLAs Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Kulbir Zira and Madan Lal Jalalpur. They immediately went to MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra at his residence in Mohali. Nagra was one of four acting presidents appointed by Congress.
Sweets were distributed and a cake cut at Nagra’s house. Sidhu also met Punjab Youth Congress chief Barinder Singh Dhillon at his residence.
After that, he went to the residence of Jakhar, who expressed confidence that the Amritsar East legislature would meet the expectations of the people of Punjab. Jakhar said the party would fight the upcoming polls with a united face.
From Jakhar’s residence, Sidhu along with some party lawmakers went to minister Razia Sultana. Sidhu and several party lawmakers later met at the residence of Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa.
He then went to the residence of the former Punjab CM Rajinder Kaur Bhathal to seek her blessings. Sidhu had been meeting with party leaders in recent days, even before he was named PPCC chief.
(with PTI inputs)
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