Punjab is the only state where Congress holds considerable command as of today. The only decisive mandate it has received in the recent years has come from India’s wheat bowl. The anti-incumbency wave coupled with allegations of involvement in illegal sources of income had thrown the Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP coalition out of power in state elections of 2017. However the sailing has not been smooth for the Congress party even after it comfortably sat in the government seat following an absolute majority in the elections. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has been facing problems in managing the state as well as his own party leaders. The inclusion of BJP turncoat Navjot Singh Sidhu in the Congress has created enough problems for the state Congress committee. The problem with Navjot Singh Sidhu is that he hardly listens to anyone, which is precisely why he had to leave the BJP citing differences with the central leadership. Sidhu’s recent drive against illegal constructions has created unrest amongst the Congress ministers.
Navjot Singh Sidhu is at present the Minister of Local Government, Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Museums in Punjab. He won the elections from Amritsar East constituency of Punjab. Sidhu quiet recently had suspended many officials of the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation. He had also in the past raided the house of Congress party’s leader cum Patiala Mayor Sanjeev Bittu who had been in the news for wrong reasons. Sanjeev Bittu had been accused of allotting tenders for works already done at his official residence. Sidhu took the matters in his own hands and raided the house of the Mayor to know about the reality. CM Amarinder Singh had to visit New Delhi to meet Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi to discuss about the mayhem created by Sidhu’s actions. Amarinder Singh used the birthday of party president Rahul Gandhi to visit him personally and raise the issues of mayhem caused by Sidhu’s actions.
According to the reports, many Congress leaders such as Rajinder Beri, Sushil Rinku and Avtar Henry Junior, besides the MP from Jalandhar, Chaudhary Santokh Singh are unhappy with Sidhu and his hard and fast approach. They are scared of Sidhu’s drives making the voters of the state angry with the party. It could hurt the ambitions of Congress in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections. There is nothing wrong in what Sidhu is doing. He is in fact doing an excellent job but unfortunately the target of his moves has mostly been Congress leaders. He had also scrapped the recent recruitment of Shivalik Pharmacy College in Nangal following allegations that all the 48 appointments were given to those linked to Congress leaders. Nangal is a part of the Anandpur Sahib Assembly segment which is represented by Speaker Rana Kanwarpal Singh.
There are wide differences between the party ministers and Navjot Singh Sidhu which seem to be broadening day after day. A temporary solution might be achieved by the intervention of Congress President Rahul Gandhi but Sidhu is unlikely to change his ways in the coming days. More bad blood will form in Congress state committee in Punjab and the people will suffer in the days to come. Congress does not realize that Punjab is the largest state they have in their grip. In Karnataka they are playing the role of a supporter in spite of being the bigger party in the coalition. Mizoram is a small state and Puducherry, a union territory does not have the same impact as controlling a state large as Punjab. Amarinder Singh’s efforts in winning Punjab for the Congress seems to be going down the drain because of one man, and that too because of one of their senior leaders, Navjot Singh Sidhu.