Chandigarh | Jagran Politics Desk: Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday made a U-turn ahead of the crucial assembly elections in the state next year and said that he has withdrawn his resignation as the chief of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC).

"I have withdrawn my resignation (as Punjab Congress chief)," Sidhu was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Speaking to reporters, Sidhu also attacked Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi over delay in justice in sacrilege and drug cases. However, he asserted that he has nothing personal against Sidhu or his government.

"I've been meeting him (CM) for a long time. I've been speaking to him since last 1 month. The 1st meeting was in Punjab Bhavan, at that time the thing was that panel (on DGP) will come and in one week things will be settled. It's a 90 days government, 50 days have gone," he said.

"During the last 4.5 years, I've raised many issues such as liquor, buses, etc. Chief Minister had centralised power but didn't take any action. I don't have any greed for a post but I only fight for Punjab's people's rights. I'll make Congress win 80-100 seats in 2022 polls," he added.

Sidhu had resigned from his position last month amid alleged differences with the cabinet expansion of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. In his letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, the cricketer-turned-politician had said that he cannot compromise on Punjab's future and the agenda for the welfare of the state.

"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 Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. I will continue to serve the Congress," he had said.

A day later, Sidhu in a video message defended his move and said that he would continue to "fight for the truth till his last breath". However, Sidhu said that he has "no personal rivalry", but won't compromise with his principles. "I can't compromise with my ethics, moral authority. What I witness is a compromise with issues, agenda in Punjab. I can't disguise high command nor can I let them be disguised," he had said.

Sidhu's sudden resignation created panic among top Congress leaders as assembly elections are slated to take place in Punjab next year. Moreover, the party has somehow managed to prevent a crisis in the state following Captain Amarinder Singh's resignation as Chief Minister.

Later, top Congress brass, including Rahul Gandhi, met Sidhu after which the party said that the former India cricketer has withdrawn his resignation. However, Sidhu didn't confirm anything over withdrawing his resignation.

"He (Sidhu) shared his concerns with Rahul Gandhi. We have told him that his concerns will be taken care of here. He assured Rahul Gandhi that he has withdrawn his resignation and he will resume his duties as the PCC president," All India Congress Committee's in-charge for Punjab Harish Singh Rawat had said.

Later, Sidhu wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi and sought a meeting with her to present a 13-point agenda for the assembly elections next year, stating it is "Punjab’s last chance for resurrection and redemption". "After multiple deliberations and consultations with party workers from across Punjab... I express with a lot of pain in my heart that this is Punjab's last chance for resurrection and redemption," he said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma