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‘No change of guard in Punjab’: AICC

Sidhu had quit the Amarinder Singh cabinet in July 2019 after being divested of the local bodies portfolio and has been in political wilderness since.

A three-member AICC panel constituted to end factionalism in Punjab has submitted its report to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. The panel said that majority of the MLAs are with CM Amarinder Singh and there is no need for a change of guard in the state.

The committee said that there is no groupism in the party and suggested that more representation should be given to Dalit leaders. It recommended that a Dalit leader should be made the deputy CM. It also noted that few MLAs are “unhappy” but not against Amarinder Singh.

The panel also recommended appointing a new Pradesh Congress Committee.

The panel was constituted by Sonia Gandhi last month in the wake of the increasing rift between the Navjot Singh Sidhu and the Amarinder Singh factions. The panel chaired by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and comprising AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former MP JP Aggarwal has suggested accommodating all sections, castes and regions in the revamped party unit.

It also said that Navjot Singh Sidhu should be “suitably accommodated” in the revamp. The panel had earlier met Congress MLAs, Sidhu and Amerinder.

Sidhu has been at loggerheads with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and has publicly attacked him over an SIT report on the sacrilege issue in the state. Sidhu had quit the Amarinder Singh cabinet in July 2019 after being divested of the local bodies portfolio and has been in political wilderness since.

Punjab will go to polls early next year.

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