New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): With several political developments in Congress on Tuesday, the party witnessed an eventful day with a series of resignations in Punjab and the induction of former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar into the party's fold.
In a dramatic turn of events in Punjab, state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu tendered his resignation to Congress President Sonia Gandhi at around 3 pm today.
"The collapse of a man's character stems from the compromise corner, I can never compromise on Punjab's future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab. Therefore, I hereby resign as the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Will continue to serve the Congress," Sidhu said in his resignation letter.
However, sources close to Congress said that Sidhu's resignation has not been accepted. Top leadership has asked the state leadership to resolve the matter at their own level first, they said.
Sidhu was appointed as the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) on July 23.
A series of resignations poured in after Sidhu's resignation. A minister and three Congress leaders, considered close to Sidhu, stepped down from their posts delivering a big blow to the Congress high command that was hoping of resolving the tussle between Sidhu and captain Amarinder Singh after Navjot was appointed as Punjab Congress President ahead of the Assembly elections early next year.
Punjab Cabinet Minister Razia Sultana resigned from her ministerial post in "solidarity" with Sidhu.
While Gautam Seth resigned as General Secretary (in-charge training) of Punjab Congress, Yoginder Dhingra resigned as General Secretary of the party's state unit. State party treasurer Gulzar Inder Chahal also stepped down from his post.
In another event Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader and ex-member of the Communist Party of India (CPI) national executive Kanhaiya Kumar joined Congress in the presence of party leader Rahul Gandhi at AICC headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Jignesh Mewani, who is an independent MLA from the Vadgam constituency in Gujarat and convener of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM) was also said to join the Congress and was present at the AICC headquarters when Kumar joined the party. However, later while addressing a joint press conference, Mewani clarified that he could not join the Congress due to some "technical" reasons.
He further clarified that he is an independent MLA and if he joins a party, he may not continue as an MLA. However, extending his support to Congress, Mewani said that ideologically he is with the party. He announced he shall contest the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls from Congress.
Mewani said, "I could not join Congress formally due to technical reasons. I am an independent MLA, if I join a party, I may not continue as an MLA... I am part of the Congress ideologically, will fight the upcoming Gujarat polls from Congress symbol."
Kanhaiya and Jignesh Mewani met Rahul Gandhi earlier today at Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh Park, ITO, Delhi on the 114th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh arrived in the national capital for the first time after his resignation as the Punjab Chief Minister on September 18.
The former Punjab Chief Minister said that he has come to Delhi to vacate Kapurthala House, further clarifying that he is not going to meet any politician during his visit.
Speaking to reporters at the Delhi airport, Singh said, "I am here to vacate Kapurthala House (the official residence of Punjab Chief Minister in New Delhi). I am not going to meet any politician here."
Amid various speculations over Singh's Delhi visit, his media advisor Raveen Thukral had earlier in the day said that the former is on a personal visit to the national capital.
"Too much being read into Cap Amarinder Singh's visit to Delhi. He's on a personal visit, during which he'll meet some friends and also vacate Kapurthala house for the new CM. No need for any unnecessary speculation," said Thukral in a tweet today.
Meantime, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi is in the poll-bound state of Uttar Pradesh. She is on a five-day visit to the state for the second time this month. Her visit comes ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls scheduled to be held in 2022.
Priyanka Gandhi reached Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport on Monday afternoon. She has been holding multiple meetings in Lucknow since then. Today, she held a meeting with the party's core team.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, Co-in charge Dhiraj Gujjar, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Aradhana Misra, Congress senior leader Pramod Tiwari were have been present in the meetings. (ANI)