When Navjot Singh
resigned as the Punjab Congress chief on March 16, after Congress
President Sonia Gandhi sought the resignation of all five state chiefs where
the party received a drubbing in the recently-concluded Assembly elections, he
just had one line to write: “I hereby resign.” But, the cricketer-turned-comedy
show judge-turned politician has never been a man of few words. And as Congress
reels in the abyss of consistent electoral defeats, Sidhu might still have a
few things to say.

In the two weeks
since Congress lost Punjab, Sidhu is said to have convened two meetings with senior
Congress leaders and some MLAs. Two more such meetings are scheduled over the
next few days, Congress sources told The Indian Express.

Navtej Singh Cheema,
a former Ludhiana legislator and one of the attendees of the meetings, said the
aim was to paper over some of the internal fractures of the party. “Our
infighting killed us. The high command could not stop it. We told Sidhu, if you
want to ‘if you want to work, then we will start’. If we do not unite now, it
is all over for the party,” Cheema was quoted saying.  

But as things are
with the Congress, even this opinion is fractured. A senior Congress leader,
who was not identified in the Indian Express report, termed the meetings an “assembly
of the defeated.”

Sidhu’s recent
resignation as state Congress chief was not his first. Last year, when Sidhu
had decided to resign because of his differences with then-CM Charanjit Singh
he had much to say. “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.”

The focus on
Punjab welfare continues to inform Sidhu’s rhetoric, even after voters
summarily rejected the Congress under his leadership. Right now, he is going
around the state with the slogan “Jittega Punjab.” But, the Congress leader who
called Sidhu’s meetings assembly of the defeated, ridiculed him for this slogan
too. “He (Sidhu) should say jittega Punjab assi saare haarange (Punjab will win
and we will all lose),” the senior leader said.