Congress general secretary Harish Rawat met Sonia Gandhi on Friday and sought to be relieved as the in-charge of the party’s affairs in Punjab citing next year’s assembly polls in Uttarakhand.
According to sources, Rawat, a former chief minister and the Congress’ campaign committee chairman in Uttarakhand, informed the party chief that he wants to concentrate on the upcoming polls in the hill state.
Assembly elections will be held in Punjab and Uttarakhand simultaneously early next year.
When reporters asked Rawat if he has sought to be relieved as the in-charge of Congress’ Punjab affairs so that he can concentrate on the upcoming polls in his state the former Uttarakhand chief minister replied in the affirmative.
He, however, added, “If my party asks me to continue (as Punjab affairs in-charge), I will do so.”
While the Congress party is seeking to retain power in Punjab, it aims to return to power by defeating the ruling BJP in the hill state.
Punjab is witnessing infighting between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Rawat, who is currently in Delhi to meet the party’s senior leadership, had recently said that the Punjab Assembly polls will be fought under the leadership of Amarinder Singh, delivering a snub to the leaders wanting the chief minister’s removal.
He had also said there was no threat to the Amarinder Singh-led government in Punjab.
Reacting to Sidhu’s statement urging the party high command to allow him the freedom to take decisions, Rawat said party chiefs are free to take their decisions within the party’s norms and constitution.
“I will see the context in which Navjot Singh Sidhu has made these remarks. Sidhu is the respected chief of the Punjab unit. Who will have the power to take decisions if not the state presidents?” he told reporters in Delhi on Friday.
Sidhu had said earlier that the party high command should give him the freedom to take decisions and he will ensure that the Congress remains in power for the next 20 years. He said he has prepared a roadmap in this regard.
“The party high command should allow me the freedom to take decisions, else I will give a befitting reply,” he had said addressing a meeting in Amritsar.
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