‘Congress has become imbued with Sidhu’s theatrics’: Amarinder hits back as war of words escalates

Pointing to the conflicting numbers shared by Harish Rawat and Randeep Surjewala in relation to the purported letter sent to the party’s central leadership by Congress MLAs expressing their lack of confidence against him, Captain Amarinder termed the development a “comedy of errors".

Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday slammed the Congress over the “lies being floated by various party leaders to cover up their mishandling of the internal party crisis in the state”.

Pointing to the conflicting numbers shared by Harish Rawat and Randeep Surjewala in relation to the purported letter sent to the party’s central leadership by Congress MLAs expressing their lack of confidence against him, Captain Amarinder termed the development a “comedy of errors”.

His remarks came after Surjewala claimed that 78 of the 79 Punjab Congress MLAs had written to the party leadership seeking Captain Amarinder’s ouster. Interestingly, just a day earlier, Harish Rawat had, in a press statement, said that 43 MLAs had written to the high command on the issue.

“It seems the entire party has become imbued with Navjot Singh Sidhu’s sense of comic theatrics,” he quipped, retorting, “Next they will claim that 117 MLAs wrote to them against me,” the former chief minister said.

“This is the state of affairs in the party. They cannot even coordinate their lies properly,” remarked Captain Amarinder, adding that the Congress was in a total state of disarray, and the crisis seemed to be escalating by the day, with a large majority of its senior leaders completely disenchanted with the functioning of the party. The fact of the matter, said the ex-CM, was that the 43-odd MLAs who had signed the said letter had been forced to do so under duress.

Amarinder pointed out that since 2017, the Congress had swept every election in Punjab with him at the helm of the government, which was in total contrast to the claims being made by the party leadership. In the last Assembly elections, the party won an unprecedented 77 seats. In the by-elections in 2019, Congress won three of the four seats, even winning from Sukhbir Badal’s stronghold of Jalalabad.

Even in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the party swept eight of the 13 seats despite the massive BJP wave in the country, said Captain Amarinder. And as recently as February this year, in the elections held in seven municipal corporations, Congress won 281 of the 350 seats (80.28%), he said, adding that in the polls to the 109 municipal councils, the party won 97 (the Congress won in 1,486 of the 2,165 wards – 68%).

 

Clearly, the people of Punjab had not lost trust in him, as claimed by Surjewala, said the former chief minister, adding that the whole affair had been orchestrated by a few leaders, MLAs at the behest of Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Warning that the party will have to pay a heavy electoral price in the state, Amarinder said: “Had I been hand in glove with the Badals, as they are alleging, I would not have spent the last 13 years fighting them in courts.” He lamented that not a single party leader had stood by him in his legal battles.

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