Navjot Sidhu Rips Hole Into Congress Peace Formula With "Royal" Dig

In his first reaction to the late night announcement that followed days of turmoil and uncertainty, Navjot Singh Sidhu also appeared to take a swipe at Amarinder Singh as he talked about his father, a Congress worker, "leaving a royal household" to join the freedom struggle.

The cricketer-turned-politician will take charge along with four working presidents.

New Delhi:

Navjot Singh Sidhu, named new Punjab Congress chief despite Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's objection, posted tweets thanking the Gandhis for the "pivotal responsibility" and said his "journey has just begun".

In his first reaction to the late night announcement that followed days of turmoil and uncertainty, Mr Sidhu also appeared to take a swipe at Amarinder Singh as he talked about his father, a Congress worker, "leaving a royal household" to join the freedom struggle.

Amarinder Singh's father was the ruler of the former princely state of Patiala.

"To share prosperity, privilege and freedom not just among a few but among all, my father a Congress worker left a royal household and joined freedom struggle, was sentenced to death for his patriotic work reprieved by King's Amnesty became DCC President, MLA, MLC and Advocate General (sic)," Navjot Sidhu wrote.

"Today, to work further for the same dream and strengthen the invincible fort of the Congress, Punjab, I am grateful to Hon'ble Congress President Sonia Gandhi Ji, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi
Ji for bestowing their faith in me and giving me this pivotal responsibility," he tweeted. 

"Will work along every member of Congress family in Punjab to fulfil the mission of #JittegaPunjab as a humble Congress worker to give power of the people Back to the people through the #PunjabModel and the high command's 18-point agenda ... My Journey has just begun!!"

The cricketer-turned-politician will take charge along with four working presidents. The names show the party balancing out the elevation of Mr Sidhu by meeting Amarinder Singh's demand that Hindus and Dalits be represented.

But none of the names were vetted by Amarinder Singh, so the Congress's Punjab solution is seen more as a snub to the Chief Minister, who had resisted the elevation of Mr Sidhu to the top party post in ahead of polls in the state next year.

As a rider for his acceptance of Mr Sidhu's promotion, Mr Singh had asked to be involved in key decisions and given a free hand with the appointment of working presidents. Even his reported demand for a public apology from Mr Sidhu over his open attacks was unmet.

The Gandhis signed off on the decision on a day MPs supporting the Chief Minister had requested a meeting with party chief Sonia Gandhi to express their reservations about Mr Sidhu's appointment.