The Congress continues its firefighting efforts in Punjab, where it is trying to appease 28 rebel MLAs who have questioned Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s leadership ahead of next year’s election. A three-member committee, set up by party chief Sonia Gandhi to resolve this issue met cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is Amarinder Singh’s biggest rival within the party. The committee is headed by leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge. All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former MP Jai Prakash Agarwal are the other members of the committee. After the meeting on Tuesday, Sidhu said he was there at the high command’s invitation. “My stand was the same, is the same and will be the same that the democratic power of people that goes to the government in the form of taxes should go back to the people… each citizen must be made shareholder in progress. The truth may be punished but it cannot be defeated. We have to make the truth victorious and defeat anti-Punjab forces,” Sidhu told reporters. Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat, who is part of the committee, stressed that the party is not considering a change of leadership in the state. Sources close to the party have said that the panel can suggest creation of two posts of deputy Chief Ministers to placate the dissident Dalit MLAs and the camp led by Captain’s opponents. The party high command has been looking for a candidate who is acceptable to both the factions. Rahul Gandhi, too, has been informally talking to some of these MLAs. Meanwhile, three suspended AAP MLAs — Sukhpal Khaira, Pirmal Singh and Jagdev Singh Kmalu—on Thursday joined the Congress party. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh inducted them into the party fold. Now, Amarinder is in Delhi to meet a three-member Congress panel formed to resolve the infighting in the state.