Chandigarh: Congress veteran Amarinder Singh on Saturday resigned as chief minister of Punjab, capping months of a power tussle that had polarised the state’s ruling party headed for elections in just about four months. Captain handed over the resignation of his council of ministers to the state Governor at the Raj Bhawan at 4.30 PM today. Singh arrived at the Chandigarh Raj Bhawan with his wife ahead of the crucial Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting.Also Read - Captain Amarinder Singh To Form His New Party Ahead of Punjab Polls, Alliance With BJP Likely
Amarinder Singh, one of the Congress’ powerful regional satraps, put in his papers after speaking to party president Sonia Gandhi over a phone call. The Punjab Chief Minister addressed a press conference at the Raj Bhawan Gate outside the Governor’s house in Chandigarh where he also announced his council of ministers’ resignation. Also Read - Sidhu Seeks Meet With Sonia Gandhi For His 13-Point Agenda to Resurrect Punjab Congress in 2022 Polls
“This (calling a meeting) is happening for the third time…There is an element of doubt regarding me. I feel humiliated by the way talks transpired… which is why I decided to quit,” Singh told reporters after submitting his resignation. Also Read - Singhu Border Killing: Second 'Nihang' Arrested From Punjab Village Over Gruesome Murder of Dalit Man
The buzz had gained ground earlier this afternoon when Captain’s son Raninder Singh took to Twitter and said he will accompany his father to the Raj Bhawan “when he submits his resignation as CM of Punjab”.
“Haha indeed indeed must go now as I am proud to accompany my father to Raj Bhawan when he submits his resignation as CM of Punjab and leads us as head of our family into a new beginning et al,” Raninder Singh tweeted this afternoon.
‘Still in Congress,’ Amarinder Singh Clarifies
“I am in the Congress party, will consult with my supporters and decide the future course of action. Whoever they (party high command) have faith in, can make them (Punjab CM)…” Captain told reporters outside Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh.
“The future politics option is always there and I will use that option when the time comes. At the moment, I am still in the Congress,” the 80-year-old Congress veteran said.
‘Sidhu is a Disaster,’ Says Captain on Next Punjab CM
Dubbing Navjot Sidhu as anti-national, dangerous, unstable, incompetent and a security threat to the state and the country, Amarinder Singh said he will fight any move to make the Punjab Congress president the chief minister “tooth and nail.”
“He is a total disaster… wasn’t able to run one minister, he’ll run Punjab? I won’t accept that. He could not handle one Ministry how can he handle the whole of Punjab?” Captain told reporters.
Sonia Gandhi to Choose New Punjab Chief Minister
Sonia Gandhi is expected to appoint a new Punjab chief minister based on the request of Congress MLAs, the party said after Amarinder Singh’s exit.
A total of 78 out of the 80 MLAs, barring Amarinder Singh and another member, authorised Sonia Gandhi to pick the new CLP leader, the party’s state in-charge Harish Rawat told the media.
“Two resolutions — one praising Amarinder Singh’s contributions towards Punjab and another authorising President Sonia Gandhi to select the new CLP leader — were unanimously passed,” he said.
The party high command had deputed Ajay Maken and Harish Chowdhry as central observers for the CLP meeting along with Rawat.
Over 50 MLAs in the party had written to Gandhi seeking that Amarinder Singh be replaced as chief minister, a move that capped months of a fractious feud between him and Navjot Singh Sidhu who was recently made state Congress president much against the senior leader’s wishes.