Amarinder will lead Congress’s election campaign, says party leader

Singh had stepped down from the chief minister’s post on September 18 after a protracted feud with his bete noire Navjot Singh Sidhu | Photo: Twitter/Amarinder Singh

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will lead the Congress’s election campaign in Punjab next year, a state party leader said on Wednesday.

Harish Rawat’s statement came a day after a section of the party once again called for Singh’s removal. The demand resurfaced after Singh targeted the advisers of Navjot Singh Sidhu over their comments on Pakistan and Kashmir.

Twenty-three MLAs, including four ministers, held a meeting on Tuesday and said they will write to the central leadership on the issue.

The MLAs, including ministers Tript Rajinder Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Charanjit Singh Channi, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, and state Congress general secretary Pargat Singh – known to be close to Sidhu – attended the meeting.

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“Captain should be replaced else the Congress won’t survive… we will meet Sonia Gandhi over the issue,” Tript Bajwa said after the meeting.

“There is a quid pro quo between the chief minister and the Akalis. No work is being done, no promises fulfilled. We have no option but to seek his replacement. We will bring to the notice of the high command that the CM has lost our trust.”

Randhawa said the government had “outsourced” work to bureaucrats. “Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal told me he had got in touch with the CM thrice to raise sugarcane farmers’ issue and told him they would protest. But nobody cared. Had the issue been sorted, the highway in Punjab may not have been jammed and the people inconvenienced,” he said.

Just over a month ago the Congress high command had made Sidhu the Punjab chief in an effort to keep the peace in the state unit.

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