Punjab: CM faces revolt; ministers, MLAs say they've 'lost faith'
Trouble is mounting again in Punjab as dozens of MLAs and ministers have openly revolted against Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, seeking his replacement ahead of Assembly elections next year. On Tuesday, the MLAs and ministers announced that they have no faith in the CM as far as fulfilling election promises is concerned. A delegation has decided to meet the party's central leadership soon.
Reportedly, 46 ministers and MLAs met at Cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa's residence. At the meeting, it was decided that a five-minister delegation will meet Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi soon. The delegation includes ministers Sukhjinder Randhawa, Bajwa, Sukhbinder Sarkaria, Charanjit Channi, and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) General Secretary in-charge and MLA Pargat Singh.
Speaking to reporters, Randhawa and Channi said it will be difficult to win the upcoming elections under Amarinder Singh's leadership. They said, "We have no personal ambition and we have the best portfolios with us but still we are stating the facts. Our concern is that the poll promises like justice in Bargari sacrilege, scrapping the faulty power purchase agreements are not fulfilled."
The power tussle between CM Singh and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is not new. Both Sidhu and Singh are trying to hold a grip over the party in the state. Notably, Sidhu was not present at the meeting. However, the timing of the revolt is curious as it comes a day after Sidhu faced flak for his advisor's controversial statements.
Recently, Sidhu's advisor Malvinder Singh Mali had courted controversy by saying that Jammu and Kashmir is a separate country and India and Pakistan were illegally occupying the region. Mali had also shared a controversial sketch of former PM and Congress chief Indira Gandhi.
The controversial statements by Sidhu's advisor have reportedly irked the Gandhis. The Gandhis fear the recent developments will help the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to further polarization in Uttar Pradesh. The developments will also attach the "anti-national tag" to the Gandhis, they reportedly fear. Notably, Congress' Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat will visit the state on Wednesday to take stock of the party's affairs.