Congress’ Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat has landed in a controversy over a remark favouring Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu and four working presidents under him. On Tuesday, Rawat equated Sidhu and his Working Presidents to the “Panj Pyaras” inducted into the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh.
“It was my responsibility to meet with the PPCC chief, or I would say the Panj Pyaras,” said Rawat in Chandigarh on Tuesday as Sidhu stood behind me. After Rawat arrived in Chandigarh, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu, working presidents Kuljit Nagra, Pawan Goel and PPCC general secretary Pargat Singh met him.
The remark infuriated the Shiromani Akali Dal which accused Rawat of hurting religious feelings and demanded an apology from the AICC general secretary. Party spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said that Rawat compared his party leaders with ‘Panj Pyaras’, a term which is very highly regarded by Sikhs.
Interestingly, just days ago, Rawat had announced that he would dismiss Sidhu’s advisers who sparked a furore with their comments on Kashmir.
His visit follows days after the party’s state unit plunged into another crisis after four ministers, belonging to the camp of PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and a dozen party leaders raised a banner of revolt against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh over the issue of unfulfilled poll promises.
Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Charanjit Singh Channi and three party legislators, who wanted Amarinder Singh to be replaced, had gone to Dehradun to meet Rawat on August 25.
After Tuesday’s meeting with Sidhu and his Working Presidents, Rawat said there was no dispute in the party’s state unit and there was only one camp which is the Congress camp. He said he will also try to meet the chief minister on Wednesday, adding that he will be here till Thursday.