Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s outburst that he was not treated well by the party is not true, the Congress said today. “It is being said that he was humiliated. I would like to clarify that the party has always given him respect and treated him with high regard,” Congress’s Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat told reporters today, amid a spiraling crisis in the Punjab Congress that started with Amarinder Singh’s resignation as Chief Minister just days ago.
Amarinder Singh yesterday told NDTV he would quit Congress for humiliating him. The Congress leader shocked the party when he went to meet BJP leader and Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi, raising speculation that he might join the BJP. But he has ruled out joining any party, and said he met Mr Shah to discuss farm laws.
“Amarinder Singh seems to be under some kind of pressure,” Mr Rawat said.
While resigning as Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh had said he would keep “options open”.
“He was at the forefront of Punjab Congress for years and the party always respected his leadership, so he should have stood by the party when certain decisions were taken,” Mr Rawat said, alluding to the party’s decision to appoint Charanjit Singh Channi to the top post.
“For years he headed the Congress in Punjab, yet if he feels ‘humiliated’, then what can one say? When the question is about saving India and to democracy, it was expected of Amarinder Singh ji to stand by Sonia Gandhi ji in this time of need,” Mr Rawat said.
Amarinder Singh’s tactical move whose outcome is still unknown comes after persistent gnawing by a section of Congress MLAs seeking a leadership change in the state ahead of assembly election next year. Just two months ago Navjot Singh Sidhu was made the Punjab Congress chief despite objections by Amarinder Singh, who also openly made it known he would oppose any attempt by the party leadership to consider Mr Sidhu for the top post.
After Charanjit Singh Channi was made Chief Minister over a week ago, Mr Sidhu also resigned as Punjab Congress chief, plunging the party into a full-blown crisis.