‘Neither tired nor retired’: Captain resigns from Cong, announces new party name

In a strongly-worded resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the former Punjab chief minister accused her of staging a “midnight conspiracy” at the behest of her children while calling Punjab Congress Committee Navjot Sidhu “an acolyte of the Pakistani deep state”

Singh had resigned from the post of chief minister on September 18 after a bitter power tussle with Sidhu.

Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday (November 2) announced that he has tendered his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and that his new party will be called Punjab Lok Congress.

“I have today sent my resignation to @INCIndia President Ms Sonia Gandhi ji, listing my reasons for the resignation. ‘Punjab Lok Congress’ is the name of the new party. The registration is pending approval with the @ECISVEEP. The party symbol will be approved later,” Singh tweeted while attaching a copy of resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi.

In the strongly-worded letter that ran into seven pages, Singh not only accused Sonia of removing him in a “midnight conspiracy” at the behest of her children, but levelled serious accusations of illegal sand mining against state Congress MLA and ministers.

Also read: Amarinder seeks media attention, but has only rhetoric to offer

Beginning the letter with his credentials as an army man-turned politician who has dedicated his life to public service for 52 years, Singh said it was him who had led the Congress to a “resounding victory” in the 2017 Assembly polls.

Expressing disappointment with the way he was ejected out of the chief minister’s chair, Singh held Sonia Gandhi responsible for allowing the “midnight conspiracy” to be carried out at the “behest” of her children.

“…the most egregious act was the midnight conspiracy carried out against me at your and your children’s behest by calling a CLP meeting over my head in the dead of the night and that too through Twitter. It was my prerogative as the CLP leader to have called the meeting if the AICC desired it. It was only early morning that a colleague informed me that such an outrageous act has been committed,” he wrote.

Revealing that some of the offenders in the illegal sand mining in the state were Congress MLAs and ministers including a few in the current government, Singh admitted that his government did nothing to take them to task in a bid to save the party from embarrassment.

“One of my enduring regrets would remain as to why I did not take some of them to task. The thought that it would embarrass the party held me back. However, I do intend making the list of these people public as this has been provided to me by the government of Punjab and state intelligence from time to time,” he said.

Calling Sidhu an “acolyte of the Pakistani deep state”, Singh said it came as a surprise to him when the cricketer turned politician, “who had publicly hugged the Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran Khan” was chosen as the president of the Punjab Congress Committee.

“Khan and Bajwa are the people responsible for sending terrorist across the border to kill Indians. It may be noted that 82 of Punjabi soldiers have been martyred in Jammu and Kashmir since my government took over in 2017,” he said.

Expressing his lack of faith in his successor Charanjit Singh Channi, Singh without naming him, said the hands the state has been handed over to are “inexperienced” to “handle the security situation in view of the massive influx of weapons and explosives and narcotics” to the country from across the border.

Also read: How Amarinder Singh went from Punjab’s Captain to Captain Cooked

Stating that he is neither tired nor retired, Singh, 79, said he still has a lot to contribute to the state.

“Despite known me for the better part of my 52 years in public life and that too at a deeply personal level, you never understood me or my character. You thought I was getting on in years and should be put to pasture. I am neither tired or retired. I feel I have a lot to give and contribute to my beloved Punjab. I intend to soldier on and not fade away,” he wrote.

Singh had stepped down as chief minister on September 18 after a longstanding tussle with Sidhu.