Navjot Sidhu to stay, ‘agreement’ with PM on sticking points: 10 points

Charangit Singh Chani and Navjot Sidhu reached an agreement on the sticking points. (a file)

New Delhi:
Navjot Singh Siddhu has returned to the post after reaching an agreement with Punjab Chief Minister Charangit Chani on Thursday over the controversial appointments that plunged Congress into fresh turmoil ahead of elections next year.

Here’s the 10-point cheat sheet for this big story:

  1. Charanjit Chani will be in Delhi today to meet the senior leaders. Debate about balancing Mr. Seydoux’s demands with the expectations of MLAs is likely to be the main agenda. The Congress blasted his critics, targeting the party amid the turmoil, by calling them “anti-Dalits” after Mr Chani became the first face of Sikh Dalits leading Punjab.

  2. Navjot Sidhu, whose surprise resignation as president of the Punjab Congress – described by his advisers as an “emotional” outburst – caught the party by surprise on Tuesday, while selecting a replacement for state attorney general Amar Preet Singh Deol, according to sources. She said.

  3. Punjab has seen a reshuffle at the top of the bureaucracy after Chani took office last month. APS Deol, who represented a former senior policeman in the controversial 2015 police firing case, was appointed to the post on Monday as Atul Nanda resigned from the post following the informal exit of Amarinder Singh as Punjab Chief Minister.

  4. A 10-member committee has been sent to the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) to appoint a new Director General of Police (DGP) – another point of contention. The sources indicated that Mr. Chani is ready to bring down Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota as Chief of Punjab Police. He was also selected for the role last week.

  5. Mr. Shota’s appointment was problematic because he was the head of a special investigation team to investigate the 2015 sacrilege – a highly influential case. The investigation into the sacrilege and subsequent police release was a cause of rift between Amarinder Singh and Mr. Siddhu.

  6. The Congress also approved the formation of a partisan governmental committee before the state elections scheduled for early next year.

  7. Mr. Seydoux was also upset by the cabinet changes made by Mr. Chani immediately after taking charge.

  8. Navjot Singh Siddhu was appointed as Speaker of the Punjab Congress after a year-long bitter feud with Amarinder Singh. “My fight is based on a cause, and I have stood by it for a long time. I cannot compromise with my morals, my moral authority,” Seydoux said in a video statement, a day after his resignation. He added, “What I am witnessing is a compromise with the issues and the agenda in Punjab. I cannot mislead the senior leadership and I cannot let them mislead.”

  9. Amarinder Singh, one of Punjab’s longest-serving leaders, announced on Thursday that he will leave Congress but will not join the BJP. The statement came a day after his meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, which his aide said was related to farmers’ issues. He had earlier mocked Congress over Mr Seydoux’s surprising move by tweeting “I told you so”.

  10. The captain also acknowledged that congressional turmoil would benefit the AAP, which is preparing for a tough battle in the state election. A poll – conducted by Congress between July and September – showed that it “saw a 20% decline,” the former prime minister said.

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