Punjab: ‘Humiliated’ Captain retires hurt, Sidhu in race to take crease | India News – Times of India


CHANDIGARH: Push came to shove for Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday after two months of alleged humiliation by the Congress leadership admittedly prompted him to resign along with his entire council of ministers, albeit with the caveat that state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu was unacceptable to him as a prospective successor as he would be “a disaster”.
Amarinder declared he wouldn’t quit politics, but would wait to explore and exercise his future options when the time comes.
While several names, including that of Sunil Jakhar, were doing the rounds, Congress sources said there was a strong possibility of Sidhu replacing Captain and was likely to take oath before the shradh begins.
Amarinder stepped down with a one-line resignation letter to pre-empt what was widely being seen as a move to remove him from the chief ministership through an emergency Congress Legislature Party meeting convened by the AICC at 5pm. He met the governor less than half an hour before the meeting.

“I had made a decision in the morning. I had a word with the Congress president (Sonia Gandhi), and I conveyed it to her that I will resign today. ‘I am sorry, Amarinder,” said Sonia Gandhi when I spoke with her,” he told the media after handing his resignation to governor Banwarilal Purohit, just about six months before assembly elections are due.
“Apparently, they (Congress high command) do not have confidence in me and did not think I could handle my job. This is the third time that a meeting of party MLAs is being held in a few months… But I feel humiliated the way it has been done. I decided that I will step down as the CM and they may appoint in whom they have confidence,” he said. The governor asked Amarinder to continue in office for transaction of routine business till alternative arrangements were made, said a spokesperson for Raj Bhavan.
Asked if he would accept whoever Congress chose as the new CM, Amarinder said, “I will not do it (make a commitment) right now. I will now consult my associates and supporters and then make a decision. I have been in politics for 52 years and remained CM for 9.5 years… They have stood by me. I will speak to them and then decide.”
On speculation he might even join BJP, he said, “You may say whatever you wish. I can only tell you I have been a Congress CM, and I am in the Congress party.”
Sources said Amarinder’s request to cancel the legislature party meeting was not acceded to, prompting him to call it quits. It was speculated that over 40 MLAs who had sought the meeting would go against him. An emergency meeting of MLAs had been announced by Harish Rawat late on Friday.
Amarinder was accompanied to Raj Bhavan by his MP wife Preneet Kaur and son Raninder Singh, along with MPs Gurjeet Singh Aujla and Ravneet Singh Bittu, AG Atul Nanda and chief principal secretary to the CM Suresh Kumar.
Soon after he quit, Congress MLAs passed a resolution authorising party chief Sonia Gandhi to choose his successor. Another resolution thanked the outgoing CM for his contribution. Rawat said after the meeting that in keeping with Congress tradition, it had been unanimously decided that the party president would name the next legislature party leader.
Apart from Rawat, two observers sent by AICC — Ajay Maken and Harish Choudhary — arrived in Chandigarh on Saturday afternoon to attend that meeting. Former Uttarakhand CM Rawat, who had said recently that Congress would fight for re-election in 2022 under Amarinder’s captaincy, said the outgoing CM played a key role in tackling the challenges facing the state.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here