Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Saturday claimed that it was not party president Sonia Gandhi who made Amarinder Singh quit as the Punjab chief minister but he had to quit after 78 party MLAs sought his removal.
Surjewala’s remarks came as Amarinder Singh had accused the Congress leadership of "humiliating" him after he tendered his resignation as the Punjab CM.
Amarinder Singh was replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi after the Congress chose him as the new legislative party leader last month.
Congress general secretary Surjewala said when any chief minister loses the confidence of all of his legislators, he should not remain in his post.
“Seventy-eight out of 79 legislators (in Punjab) had written for a change of the chief minister. Had we not changed the CM, you would have accused us of being a dictator. Seventy-eight MLAs are on one side and a CM is on the other side and you are not listening to them,” said Surjewala while addressing the media here.
“Sonia Gandhi is the president of the Congress party and the decision on changing the CM in Punjab was not taken by her. As I told you, 78 MLAs had written and then we changed the CM,” added Surjewala.
Notably, Amarinder Singh had earlier rejected the charge of the Congress leadership that he had lost the confidence of the MLAs.
The former chief minister had said he would quit the Congress which he had asserted was going downhill with senior leaders being ignored.
Surjewala said it was for the first time in Punjab a person belonging to the Scheduled Caste community became chief minister and a new history was created.
He questioned the BJP whether they have any chief minister belonging to the SC.
“If the Congress has made a move, what is their problem?” he asked the BJP.
Surjewala also took a dig at the BJP, referring to changes of chief ministers in BJP-ruled states of Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Karnataka.
To a question on some party MLAs of Chhattisgarh camping in Delhi, Surjewala said it is the party's internal matter.