Ending days of speculation, three rebel AAP MLAs on Thursday joined the Congress party at a time when the latter is witnessing a crisis within.
Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira along with Bhadaur MLA Pirmal Singh and Maur MLA Jagdev Singh Kamalu joined the Congress in the presence of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh at a low-key event at the Sector 2 CM’s residence. The chief minister soon after left for Delhi to meet the AICC panel set up look at Punjab congress crisis.
Khaira had in December 2015 quit the party and decided to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Even as the three-member AICC panel overlooking the current crisis in Punjab Congress continues to hold parleys with state leaders, a ‘discreet’ move to shake up the state unit has been set into motion by the highest echelons of the party.
Reliable sources within the party said that apart from the Kharge-led panel which was trying to resolve the seemingly deep-rooted differences between Capt Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu, senior party leader Rahul Gandhi had also opened up other ‘communication channels’ to carry out a drastic makeover in the state unit of the party. The restructuring of the party has been on the backburner for quite some time now mainly because of the bickering within the state unit.
Sources said that Rahul had been seeking informal suggestions from local leadership as well as a senior party leader from Rajasthan Harish Chaudhary who was Punjab affairs in charge during the 2017 assembly polls. “While the resolution of the crisis is important, the party is also feeling that the major overhaul of the state unit was necessary for which Rahul Gandhi is taking keen interest personally,’’ said a source in the party.