Chandigarh | Jagran Politics Desk: In what could clear Navjot Singh Sidhu's elevation as state party chief, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that he will "accept and honour" any decision taken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi regarding a possible leadership change in the state.

The development comes after AICC general secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat flew to Chandigarh to deescalate the tensions between Sidhu and Captain Amarinder ahead of the crucial assembly election in Punjab next year.

"Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh reiterated that whatever decision will be taken by the Congress president, it will be honoured by him," Rawat said after the meeting, as reported by news agency ANI.

However, Captain Amarinder is learnt to have told Rawat that he will not meet Sidhu till he publicly regrets or apologises for his tweets against him. The chief minister is learnt to have told Rawat that the manner in which the issue was handled was not acceptable and he still has reservations over Sidhu's appointment but would accept any decision that the leadership takes, reported news agency PTI.

Sidhu and Captain Amarinder have been at loggerheads, creating problems for Congress in Punjab where the assembly election is slated to place in 2022. It has emerged that Sidhu will be elevated as state party chief while Captain Amarinder will continue as chief minister of the state.

However, Captain Amarinder had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi on Friday night, saying Sidhu's elevation as the state party chief will divide the Congress in Punjab. He also said that it could have an adverse impact on the party's prospects in the 2022 assembly polls.

In his letter to Sonia, Captain Amarinder further wrote that the party must not ignore the old guard and other senior party leaders representing Hindu and Dalit communities. "The party and the government may both have to bear the consequences of such a move," he wrote reportedly.

Assembly election in Punjab is slated to take place in February or March next year. In the previous election in 2017, Congress had won 77 seats while the Aam Aadmi Party had emerged victorious on 20 constituencies. The Akali Dal-BJP alliance, on the other hand, was a distant third with 18 seats.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma