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Rawat says submitted note to Sonia as meeting with Sidhu ends

Sources said the Congress was mulling an idea of appointing a Dalit and an upper caste Hindu as the working presidents. But, Amarinder Singh’s unhappiness has compelled the party to think otherwise.

IANS | New Delhi |

It seems Chief Minister Amarinder Singh resistance on appointing Navjot Singh Sidhu as the Punjab President has worked and the meeting between Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Harish Rawat and Sidhu on Friday ended early, sources said.

After the meeting Harish Rawat said, “I have submitted a note to the party president and as she decides it will be made public.”

When asked Sidhu will be made party president,Rawat responded: “Who said Sidhu will be made party president”.

Sidhu, after leaving from Sonia Gandhi’s residence at 10 Janpath did not speak to the media.

Earlier, at noon disgruntled Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu and Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat reached at 10 Janpath to meet Sonia Gandhi.

The meeting came in the wake of speculation that Sidhu is likely to be made the state president, which had upset Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, sources said.

Sources said the Congress was mulling an idea of appointing a Dalit and an upper caste Hindu as the working presidents. But, Amarinder Singh’s unhappiness has compelled the party to think otherwise.

The names of Raj Kumar Verka and Santokh Chaudhary are being considered for the working president post as both are Dalits and can counter the Akali Dal-BSP alliance impact.

While another from the Hindu community is to balance the equation, Vijay Inder Singla could be appointed as another working president. Not only this, the party is mulling to reshuffle cabinet in the state ahead of the Assembly polls and give more representation to the Dalit community in the state.

Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat on Thursday had said it may take some time but to balance the equation in the state, the party is working on the formula to appoint Sidhu in a prominent position, while asserting that Amarinder Singh has already said that he will abide by the high command’s decision.

“The party is working on a formula to appoint two working presidents and elections will be fought under the leadership of the Chief Minister,” Rawat had said.