In Amritsar today, first test for Sidhu, Congress

Most of these banners had picture of Capt Amarinder Singh, who is yet to congratulate Sidhu on his elevation. Several of these banners have been installed by local councillors from Amritsar East constituency represented by Sidhu.

Navjot Singh Sidhu will on Tuesday address the Congress workers in Amritsar — his first address to the party workers after elevation as PCC chief. A day before the visit, banners came up across the city congratulating him.

Most of these banners had picture of Capt Amarinder Singh, who is yet to congratulate Sidhu on his elevation. Several of these banners have been installed by local councillors from Amritsar East constituency represented by Sidhu.

“Sidhu will reach Amritsar at around 1 pm. He will be received at Golden Gate. Then he will go to his residence in Holy City, where a stage has been set up for his address to party workers. It will be a small meeting,” said a close Sidhu aide.

Sidhu is also expected to visit Golden Temple and Durgiana Temple soon. Sidhu has a residence in Amritsar, however, he had shifted his political activities to his Patiala home over the past few months.

Amritsar West MLA Raj Kumar Verka and Amritsar North MLA Sunil Dutti have remained favourable towards Capt Amarinder Singh camp so far. Amritsar Central MLA and minister O P Soni was also never considered in the Sidhu’s camp.

Amritsar South MLA Inderbir Singh Bolaria is only one considered close to Sidhu.

Amritsar and Taran Taran MPs Gurjit Singh Aujla and Jasbir Singh Dimpa had also recently taken a stand in favour of Amarinder Singh.

“Most MLAs and ministers have extended their support to Sidhu. So far, Capt Amarinder Singh has yet not welcomed the decision of the Congress high command to make Sidhu president and it would be interesting to see if MLAs and MPs still loyal to Captain would turn up to welcome Sidhu,” said a local Congress leader.

He added, “We don’t know if this is beginning of new era of Congress in state or beginning of just another round of infighting within the party. So it is very important to see how things unfold as Sidhu visits Amritsar.”

Sidhu was isolated in the Amritsar city politics after his resignation from the Punjab Cabinet and he made very few public appearances here since then.

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