Congress crisis deepens in Punjab: String of resignations after shock exit by Navjot Sidhu

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Updated: September 28, 2021 9:12 PM

Sidhu quit the post shortly after the allocation of portfolios to members of the new state Cabinet. In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he said he will continue to serve the party.

Sidhu quit the post shortly after the allocation of portfolios to members of the new state Cabinet. In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he said he will continue to serve the party.

A minister and three other Congress leaders, considered close to Navjot Singh Sidhu, resigned from their posts hours after the latter stepped down as the Punjab Congress Committee chief on Tuesday.

Razia Sultana resigned as the Cabinet minister. In her resignation letter to Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Sultana said she is resigning “in solidarity with Navjot Singh Sidhu”. Sultana is considered close to Sidhu and her husband Mohd Mustafa, a former IPS officer, is a principal strategic adviser to the Congress leader.

PPCC treasurer Gulzar Inder Chahal also quit his post and sent a one-line resignation letter to CM Channi without giving any reason for his decision. He was appointed as the Punjab Congress Committee treasurer just days after Channi took oath as the chief minister of the state.

Soon after, PPCC general secretaries Yoginder Dhingra and Gautam Seth also put in their papers.

The string of resignations came shortly after Sidhu resigned as the chief of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, plunging the party into a fresh crisis just months ahead of the assembly elections in the state.

Sidhu quit the post shortly after the allocation of portfolios to members of the new state Cabinet. In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he said he will continue to serve the party.

Sidhu had taken over as the state party chief in July amid a bitter power tussle with Amarinder Singh, who stepped down as CM 10 days back while accusing the party high command of humiliating him.

While Sidhu did not disclose the exact behind the surprise move, it is believed that he was upset with his loyalists not being given a major share in the Cabinet expansion. Also, he was reportedly upset with the induction of ‘tainted’ former minister Rana Gurjit Singh, who joined the Channi Cabinet this Sunday.

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