Amid the ongoing rift in the Punjab Congress unit, Captain Amarinder Singh has resigned as Chief Minister on Saturday evening ahead of a crucial CLP meeting. Singh submitted his resignation along with that of his council of ministers to Governor Banwarilal Purohit. Former Punjab President Sunil Jakhar is said to be the frontrunner for the post of Chief Minister, as the party wants to project non-Sikh faces ahead of polls to counter AAP which is gaining ground in the state.
As per the report, Congress wants a Sikh, Navjot Singh Sidhu as state party chief and non-Sikh combination in the polls. Another name doing the rounds is Pratap Singh Bajwa.
AICC's deputed party general secretary Ajay Maken and Harish Chowdhry reached Chandigarh as central observers for the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting slated to be held at 5 pm. Harish Rawat has also reached Chandigarh.
The AICC has called a meeting of the state's Congress Legislative Party on Saturday evening. All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat had made the announcement Friday night.
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Earlier in the day, Amarinder Singh spoke to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and expressed his anguish and displeasure over his repeated "humiliation".
Capt. Amarinder Singh's resignation capped months of a power tussle that had polarised the ruling party in the state headed for elections in just about four months. He went to meet Governor Banwari Lal Purohit to hand over his resignation.
"I feel humiliated...," Amarinder Singh told reporters.
“..@capt_amarinder has met Punjab Governor and submitted his and his council of ministers’ resignation. He will address the media at the Raj Bhavan gate in a few minutes from now,” his media advisor said on Twitter.
Last month, four ministers and around two dozen party legislators had raised a banner of revolt against the Punjab CM and had said they had no faith in Amarinder Singh's ability to honour unfulfilled promises.
Four ministers--Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Charanjit Singh Channi--had raised a demand for replacing the CM.
Earlier, reports had surfaced that a section of Congress MLAs had written to the party leadership to convene a CLP meeting to discuss the poll strategy and progress on the 18-point agenda, which includes action on the 2015 desecration cases and arrest of the “big fish” in drug rackets.
The Assembly elections in the state slated in March 2022