Punjab Crisis LIVE Updates: Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday slammed the Congress over the preposterous lies being floated by various party leaders in a “clear bid to cover up their mishandling of the crisis in the state”. Pointing to the conflicting numbers shared by Harish Rawat and Randeep Surjewala on the purported letter received by the party’s central leadership expressing lack of confidence against him, Captain Amarinder termed it a comedy of errors.
His remarks came after Surjewala claimed that 78 of the 79 Punjab Congress MLAs had written to the party leadership seeking Captain Amarinder’s ouster. Interestingly, just a day earlier, Harish Rawat had, in a press statement, said that 43 MLAs had written to the high command on the issue.
“It seems the entire party has become imbued with Navjot Singh Sidhu’s sense of comic theatrics,” he quipped, retorting, “Next they will claim that 117 MLAs wrote to them against me!” “This is the state of affairs in the party. They cannot even coordinate their lies properly,” remarked Captain Amarinder, adding that the Congress was in a total state of disarray, and the crisis seemed to be escalating by the day, with a large majority of its senior leaders completely disenchanted with the party functioning. The fact of the matter, said the ex-CM, was that the 43-odd MLAs who had signed the said letter had been forced to do so under duress.
Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, referring to Capt Amarinder Singh’s resignation from the post, revealed that 78 out of 79 MLAs had written that the Chief Minister should be replaced. He said that when a Chief Minister loses the trust of MLAs, he should not remain in office.
Amid efforts being made by Team Channi to placate Navjot Singh Sidhu, the cricketer-turned-politician promised to stand by Congress leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi. He further said that he will uphold the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri. “Let all negative forces try to defeat me, but with every ounce of positive energy will make Punjab win, Punjabiyat (Universal Brotherhood) win and every Punjabi win,” he said.
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar posted a cryptic tweet and requested people to not infer anything from the two line he wrote. In a tweet on Friday he questioned, “Is it finally truce now, armistice sealed? Or is it only a temporary ceasefire?” He also mentioned that he was referring to the situation at the Line of Actual Control after the recent Chine intrusion into the territory. “No inference please,” he added.
Jakhar was replaced to make Navjot Singh Sidhu the chief of the Punjab Congress and later led to the resignation of Captain Amarinder Singh from the post of the chief minister. Jakhar’s name was also doing the rounds as the next chief minister but he was ruled out for several reasons including his relation with Sidhu.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, who met PM Modi on Friday, was slated to meet senior Congress leaders. He, however, didn’t had meetings with the Congress leadership and went directly to the airport. Channi was also supposed to meet the Gandhis, sources said.
Congress high command had told Chaani “to sort it out at the state level”. Additionally, Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat is also being sent to Chandigarh before the cabinet meeting on Monday, they said.
Channi rushed to Delhi a day after he held hectic parleys with a disgruntled Navjot Singh Sidhu who finally relented and reportedly agreed to continue as the Punjab Congress chief after he was assured that a coordination panel, comprising both him and Channi will be set up to oversee all major decisions by the Punjab government in future. The decision was reached after an over two-hour meeting at the Punjab Congress Bhavan. Sidhu had resigned from the post of the state party chief on Tuesday.
Rawat had told News18 that it will take ‘five to seven days‘ to get everything right in Punjab. Rawat said he was earlier assuming that the work has been done, but “some situations are such” that he will have to go to Punjab.