‘Humiliated’, Amarinder quits as Punjab CM
Amarinder says he was “humiliated” and sharpens fissures in the Congress in the run-up to the Assembly elections
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh resigned on Saturday even as the Congress strained to find a successor to the ‘Captain’ ahead of the Assembly polls next year.
Amarinder Singh maintained that he had been “humiliated” by the Congress, while party sources said he was increasingly becoming unpopular and had also ruffled feathers by reportedly requesting the party high command to drop as many as 60 sitting MLAs in the next elections.
Among the successors being considered were senior leaders Pratap Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Ravneet Singh Bittu and Sunil Jhakar.
While Amarinder has quit as CM, chances of him remaining with the Congress are slim although he himself maintained that he is still with the party.
“As far as my future politics is concerned, there is always an option and I will use that option when time comes. I am in the Congress party. I will talk to my supporters and decide the future course of politics,” he said.
Amarinder Singh is reportedly considering forming a new party. He had formed Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthic) in the 1990s before merging it with the Congress.
The Congress Legislative Party met in the evening after Amarinder Singh submitted his resignation to Governor Banwarilal Purohit. AICC general secretary in-charge of the State, Harish Rawat, told reporters that the CLP meeting passed a resolution asking party President Sonia Gandhi to find a new leader.
Fissures in the party
With Amarinder Singh’s departure, the fissures in the Congress have now come to the fore. The high command believes replacing Amarinder Singh is the only way the Congress can rescue an election that is becoming difficult although Congress is in pole position in the State following the farmers’ agitation against the three farm laws. The BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal are discredited and the Aam Aadmi Party — which had won 19 seats in the 117-member Assembly in the 2017 elections — does not have the organisational structure or a CM candidate.