Punjab Congress news: What worked for Captain Amarinder Singh in 2015 buoys Sidhu now | Chandigarh News

JALANDHAR: The factor which worked for Captain Amarinder Singh in 2015 — when he could get support of several MLAs to build pressure on the party high command to get Partap Singh Bajwa replaced as the Punjab PCC president — is now working for Navjot Singh Sidhu. It is the perception among MLAs and prospective candidates that Sidhu could help them win their seats in the 2022 assembly elections that has made them welcome his appointment as PCC president despite Amarinder’s serious objections and unhappiness.
In 2015, they believed that Amarinder, not Bajwa, could lead them to victory. Amarinder enjoyed such support from party MLAs and other senior leaders that Bajwa was isolated and the high command was forced to replace him. However, the CM is now facing anti-incumbency and several questions about his government’s work. The same set of MLAs and a few ministers, especially the Majha brigade of three ministers — Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria — who were in the forefront to organise support for him in 2015, have now sided with Sidhu for the same reason.
Unlike Amarinder, who rallied the MLAs behind himself in 2015 and started holding public functions under ‘Mission Punjab -2017’, Sidhu appeared to be plodding alone. He remained inaccessible to most of the party leaders but stood his ground in questioning the CM through his tweets. It was Amarinder’s direct attack on Sidhu, challenging him to contest from Patiala, that made the ex-cricketer emerge as the main challenger. This was the beginning of Sidhu’s strengthening his fight within the party.
It was after Jalandhar Cantt MLA Pargat Singh, who too had picked up the gauntlet against the CM, reached out to Sidhu that the latter met a few ministers and MLAs in Chandigarh. As the party crisis precipitated in Punjab, the Congress high command was forced to intervene, and the balance started tilting. However, most MLAs still did not side with Sidhu even if they did not support Amarinder in their feedback to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

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