NEW DELHI : As per breaking inputs from the Punjab Congress infighting row, Captain Amarinder Singh is set to visit the Congress High Command in Delhi today. This is Captain’s first Delhi visit post-resignation as the Chief Minister of Punjab. This comes in around the ongoing cabinet expansion in Punjab after S. Charanjit Singh Channi, current Chief Minister, visits Rahul Gandhi’s residence for a late-night meet earlier this week.
Captain Amarinder Singh is likely to meet Sonia Gandhi, and this will be his first Delhi visit after his rather unceremonious exit as the Punjab CM. Amarinder Singh handed in his resignation over the endless infighting and party politics with Navjot Singh Sidhu camp, and he cited feeling humiliated as he finally quit. Listen in!
Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s sudden Delhi visit created a buzz in political circles in the state as speculations of his new political innings gained ground. Singh, who resigned from his post and publicly lambasted the Gandhis, has kept everyone guessing about his next course of action. Sources said he was scheduled to visit Home Minister Amit Shah amid rumours of his joining the BJP.
As political pundits discussed the motive behind his visit to the Capital, Captain’s aide said too much was being read into the move. “He’s on a personal visit, during which he’ll meet some friends and also vacate Kapurthala house for the new CM. No need for any unnecessary speculation,” tweeted Raveen Thukral, Singh’s media adviser
Amarinder Singh’s Delhi visit is “personal” and there is “no need for speculation”, the former Punjab Chief Minister’s media advisor tweeted today, after buzz that the veteran politician – one of the Congress’ most high-profile faces and someone once seen as extremely close to the Gandhi family – was set to meet BJP chief JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah.
“Too much being read into Captain Amarinder’s visit to Delhi. He is on a personal visit, during which he’ll meet some friends and vacate the Kapurthala house for the new Chief Minister. No need for any unnecessary speculation,” Mr Singh’s media advisor, Raveen Thukral, said. Reports Mr Singh had a meeting lined up with two of the BJP’s most senior faces had triggered speculation he could add to the long list of top Congress leaders who have quit the party in recent months – except this would be a massive move, particularly with an election due in Punjab next year.
Amarinder Singh stepped down as Punjab Chief Minister 10 days ago – months before the election and after a long and bitter feud with rival Navjot Sidhu over several issues, including the farmers’ protests, electricity tariffs, and the 2015 sacrilege case and subsequent police action. As he quit a furious Mr Singh said he had been “humiliated” thrice by the Congress leadership in his battle with Mr Sidhu. He also wrote to Sonia Gandhi and warned her against positioning the former India cricketer as a chief ministerial candidate for next year’s election.
“… for the sake of my country, I’ll oppose his (Sidhu) name for Chief Minister. It’s a matter of national security… is an incompetent man… a total disaster…” he told NDTV . At the time Mr Singh also refused to comment on his political future; he told NDTV ” I can’t answer that right now” when asked if he would remain in the Congress.
Last week Mr Singh dropped worrying hints that he intended to follow through on his promise to oppose the Congress’ backing of Mr Sidhu, as he threatened to field a candidate against him and “make any sacrifice” to stop him becoming Chief Minister. Comments“He (Sidhu) is dangerous for the state,” he said in a statement released to the press.
Capping months of a power tussle with state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu that had polarized the ruling party in the state headed for elections in just about four months, Captain resigned from his post and slammed the Congress for the “humiliation”. “I was humiliated three times by the Congress leadership in the past two months…they called the MLAs to Delhi twice and now convened CLP here in Chandigarh today,” said Captain.
The former Punjab CM also called Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra “inexperienced” and Sidhu a drama master and a dangerous man, accusing him of behaving like a “Super CM” with the new chief minister, Charanjit Singh Channi, “simply nodding along. Captain Amarinder Singh also claimed that Punjab is now being run by the party from Delhi, according to a press statement issued here by an aide who summed up his interactions with the media.
“Priyanka and Rahul are like my children. This should not have ended like this. I am hurt,” the Congress veteran said. “The “Gandhi children” are quite “inexperienced” and their advisers are clearly “misguiding” them,” he added. Singh said he will only leave politics on a high. I was ready to leave after victory but never after a loss, he said. He reiterated that his options are still open. The former CM said he had offered his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi three weeks earlier but she asked him to continue.
Speaking about his future plans, Singh had said, “It is too soon to speak about the future. I will take a decision after consulting fellow colleagues. I’ve been an Armyman, I’m wearing my regimental turban. But which line I’m going to go, I cannot say. I will be active (in the Punjab elections), resigning doesn’t mean I’m leaving politics,” in an exclusive interview to Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami. While Singh and Sidhu have locked horns since 2019, the final blow to Singh came when the Congress High Command picked Sidhu as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, inspite of the CM’s vehement opposition.
(With Media Inputs).