CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has allegedly refused to meet newly appointed Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu until the latter apologizes.
Days after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi appointed Sidhu as chief of the party’s state unit, an advisor to the CM on Tuesday rejected reports suggesting the former cricketer had sought an appointment with Singh. CM will not speak to Sidhu until the latter tendered a “public apology” for “derogatory” tweets against him, the chief minister’s media advisor Raveen Thukral said, indicating the simmering tension between the two leaders is far from over.
“Reports of @sherryontop (Sidhu) seeking time to meet @capt_amarinder are totally false. No time has been sought whatsoever. No change in stance… CM won’t meet #NavjotSinghSidhu till he publicly apologises for his personally derogatory social media attacks against him,” Thukral tweeted.
Reports of @sherryontopp seeking time to meet @Amarinder Sidhu Apologyare completely false. No time has been sought whatsoever. No change in stance… CM won’t meet #NavjotSinghSidhu till latter publicly apologises for his personally derogatory social Amarinder Sidhu Apologyattacks against him. pic.twitter.com/dJvHh8Xo0h— Raveen Thukral (@RT_MediaAdvPBCM) July 20, 2021
Sidhu, who had been at loggerheads with the CM over various issues, was appointed the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief despite strong opposition from the CM.
Singh was learnt to have told AICC general secretary Harish Rawat last week that he will not meet the cricketer-turned-politician until he publicly tenders an apology for his “derogatory” tweets against him.
There has been no reaction from the CM over the Amritsar East MLA’s elevation to the post of the chief of the party’s state unit.
Earlier, senior Congress leader and cabinet minister Brahm Mahindra had ruled out any personal meeting with Sidhu till he resolves his issues with Chief Minister Singh.
The statement comes on a day Sidhu went to Amritsar where he got a rousing welcome from his supporters and party workers.
In a statement issued here, Mahindra said the decision to appoint Sidhu had been taken by the high command and is welcome.
“However, I will not meet him (Sidhu) till he meets the Chief Minister and resolves his issues with him”, Mahindra said.
He said Singh is the leader of the Congress legislature party and he (Mahindra) is duty-bound to follow him.
Before going to Amritsar, Sidhu had been calling on ministers and legislators in Chandigarh to mobilise support in the past few days.
Sidhu had already met several ministers and MLAs.
The cricketer-turned-politician will pay obeisance at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Wednesday and many party leaders were expected to be there.