Amid the ongoing tussle with Navjot Singh Sidhu, Capt Amarinder Singh resigned as the Punjab chief minister – submitted his resignation to Punjab Governor Banwari Lal. This development comes less than an hour before a legislature party (CLP) meeting called by the Congress party.
The 79-year-old Amarinder Singh told a press conference that he felt humiliated. “I called up Congress president Sonia Gandhi this morning and told her that I am going to resign. The thing is, this is happening for the third time that MLAs are being called for a meeting, my leadership is being questioned,” he said.
Submitted my resignation to Honble Governor. pic.twitter.com/sTH9Ojfvrh
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) September 18, 2021
Singh told ANI “For sake of my country, I’ll oppose Navjot Singh Sidhu name for CM of Punjab. It’s a matter of national security. Pakistan PM Imran Khan is his friend. Sidhu has a relation with Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.”
Raveen Thukral, the CM’s media adviser, tweeted on Saturday evening that CM@capt_amarinder has met Punjab governor and submitted his and his council of ministers’ resignation. Singh stepping down doesn’t come as a surprise as there has been a noted feud between him and Sidhu. And this fighting left the state unit, particularly ministers and legislators, divided making the party cadre apprehensive about its impact on electoral prospects.
According to HT, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and former president Rahul Gandhi backed Sidhu and named him the state chief. The Congress leadership called an emergency CLP meeting on the insistence of Singh detractors. The dissenting cabinet ministers and MLAs, who are close to Sidhu, had met Congress general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat last month to seek Singh’s ouster and demanded a CLP meeting.
Singh, who was Captain during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, took the oath as the 26th chief minister of Punjab in 2017 after Congress won the assembly elections with the majority. He served as president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee from 2010 to 2013. He had also served as a member of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha for five terms representing Patiala (Urban) thrice and Samana and Talwandi Sabo once each. Singh was elected as president of the Punjab Congress in 2015. On November 23, 2016 he resigned from the Lok Sabha and dedicated himself fully to Punjab polls.