Seven of the 20-odd Punjab Congress Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and ex-MLAs, who were purported to have been party to the demand for the removal of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, have disassociated themselves from any such move, stated the Chief Minister Office (CMO). Denying outright being part of what they termed as a conspiracy hatched by a section engaged in trying to drive a wedge within the party, these seven leaders have thrown their weight behind the chief minister and reposed their full faith in his leadership.
The Punjab Congress leaders who have distanced themselves from the so-called festering revolt in the party are Kuldeep Vaid Dalvir Singh Goldie, Santokh Singh Bhalaipur, Ajit Singh Mofar, Angad Singh, Raja Warring and Gurkirat Singh Kotli.
Their denial came within hours of a list of party MLAs/ex-MLAs being made public by a section of the Punjab Congress, which claimed that these leaders wanted the replacement of Captain Amarinder Singh and intended taking up the matter with the high command.
These seven party leaders have, however, washed their hands off any such decision and declared that they continue to stand firmly with the Chief Minister.
All seven of them said the closed-door meeting held at Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa's residence, after which their names were fraudulently released along with others, had been convened to discuss party affairs.
Some of the participants tried to raise the issue of the chief minister's replacement but, contrary to claims, no unanimous resolution was passed or agreed upon. Taking strong exception to the misuse of their names in this manner, these seven made it clear that they do not subscribe to any such move against Captain Amarinder.
Mofar, in fact, said he did not even attend the said meeting and had merely gone to meet one of the cabinet ministers present there. He said he was shocked to see his name being touted as one of those seeking Captain Amarinder's removal.
Vaid made it clear he was "not part of any such conspiracy against the chief minister," while Goldie firmly put his might behind Captain Amarinder. Angad said he had gone to the meeting to discuss cooperative elections in his constituency, and Warring said he was not even aware of any such discussion being held during the meeting.
Bhalaipur and Kotli also denied any talk of the chief minister's replacement taking place at the meeting and added that there was no question of being party to such a demand.
All seven of them condemned the attempts by a section of the Punjab Congress to trigger revolt in the party ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections, especially when the high command had already resolved the differences between Sidhu and Captain Amarinder.
With the polls just months away, the party needs to work unitedly, as one integrated whole, and not fritter away its political advantage by indulging in petty politicking to promote personal vested interests, they said.
They urged the party leadership to take immediate steps to quell any attempts to divide the party.