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Signs of Truce in Punjab Congress: Amarinder Singh Meets Sidhu Ahead of Elevation Ceremony

The Chai ahead of the ceremony will be the chief minister and Sidhu’s first interaction since the escalation of tension between the two.

BS Yediyurappa
Sources say BS Yediyurappa is likely to make his resignation official during a visit to the national capital in the first week of August. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Softening his stance towards the newly appointed party president, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh met with newly appointed State Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu at Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh.

The meeting is Punjab Chief Minister and Sidhu’s first interaction since the escalation of tension between the two.

Capt Amarinder Singh arrived at Punjab Bhawan shortly after newly appointed Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu arrived there. Sidhu briefly left from the Bhawan 10 minutes after the arrival of the CM and later rejoined the gathering there. Media was not allowed inside.

Singh had previously extended an invitation for tea or Chai party to the cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday, to which the latter had confirmed that he will attend the tea party in Chandigarh.

The first overture came from Sidhu after he invited the Chief Minister for the ceremony, after being engaged in a bitter face-off for the past few months.

CM responded with an invitation for a tea for all party leaders and MLAs to be held at the Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh before they proceed to the party office.

On behalf of the Captain, all MLAs, MPs and senior leaders were invited for tea at Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh at 10 am on Friday.

Sidhu had written a letter to the Captain inviting him to attend the program to be held at 11 am on Friday. Kuljeet Nagra, the new working president of Punjab Congress, met Captain and handed over the invitation letter to him.

The direct intervention of party high command Sonia Gandhi who, according to sources, had taken the initative and called up all the MPs and asked them to work together, led to the truce between the leaders. After this things started quickly began to fall into place and the party’s Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat was tasked with stitching together a rapprochement between the two leaders who had been at loggerheads for quite some time now.

Pargat Singh took over the command from the Sidhu camp, while Brahm Singh Mohindra started talking on behalf of the captain. After meeting party president Sonia Gandhi, Amarinder Singh had said that he would accept the decision of the high command.

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However, Singh who was hurt by Sidhu’s disparaging attacks on Twitter, had put a condition that the former cricketer would have to apologize publicly.

Now although there has been no public apology, the chief minister seemed to have softened his stance. Speaking to ANI, Harish Rawat said, “Under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh, Congress will unitedly welcome the new president tomorrow. Congress MPs will be present.”

The CM’s media advisor Raveen Thukral tweeted that from Punjab Bhawan everybody would proceed to the state Congress office to attend the taking over ceremony of the new team of Punjab Congress. In the invitation sent to the Captain for the taking over ceremony, Sidhu wrote that “I do not have any personal agenda, only the agenda of public interest”.

Describing the Captain as the oldest member of the house, Sidhu urged him to come to the ceremony and bless the new team. In a letter to Amarinder Singh, Sidhu also said that “You and all are aware of my resolve and commitment to fulfill the 18 point agenda set by the high command in the interest of Punjab issues and the people of Punjab. I stand firm in my resolve. I will be.” The invitation letter to the Captain also bears signatures of about 60 Congress MLAs, which is being considered as Sidhu’s show of strength directly in front of the Captain.

(With inputs from ANI)

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