Chandigarh:- Senior Congress leader Amarinder Singh on Saturday resigned from his post as the Chief Minister of Punjab after months of political tussle, saying he stepped down as he felt ‘humiliated’.
At the same time, he said that the “future politics option is always there and I will use that option”.
Amarinder Singh also termed Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh as a ‘disaster’ who would not be acceptable to him as his successor.
“I have submitted my resignation. 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,” Amarinder Singh, 80, who has been active in politics for the past 52 years, told the media after resigning from the top post.
Making it clear that he would explore and exercise his future options when the time comes, Amarinder Singh said he would decide his future course of action in consultation with his supporters, who have stood by him for over five decades.
Justifying his decision to step down months before the state goes to the polls, Amarinder Singh said, “I was humiliated three times by the Congress leadership in the past two months. They called the MLAs to Delhi twice and now convened a CLP here in Chandigarh today.
“Apparently, they (Congress high command) do not have confidence in me and did not think I could handle my job. But I felt humiliated at the manner in which they handled the whole affair.”
“Let them appoint who they trust,” he said, taking a dig at the party leadership.
“I had decided in the morning. I had spoken to the Congress President in the morning. I had told her that I am resigning,” he added.
Amarinder Singh, who was at the helm in his second stint, also told a news channel that he would never accept Sidhu as the Chief Minister.
“He is a total disaster. He could not run a single ministry. How will he run the whole state? I know the man. He has no capability,” Amarinder Singh said.
An official statement from the Raj Bhavan said that Governor Banwarilal Purohit has accepted Amarinder Singh’s resignation along with those of his council of ministers.
The Governor asked Amarinder Singh and his council of ministers to continue in office for the transaction of routine business till an alternative arrangement is made.
The resignation of the Chief Minister and his council of ministers came just minutes ahead of a crucial meeting of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) to elect a new leader.
The minute-by-minute changing political tussle in the state began close to midnight on Friday when Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat tweeted about the decision to hold an urgent CLP meeting on Saturday.
About 10 minutes later, Sidhu directed all the MLAs to be present at the CLP meeting.
The announcement by Rawat was seen as an indication from the high command to appoint a new incumbent under whose helm the party will go to the Assembly polls, slated in March 2022.
Responding to the political developments, former state Congress President Sunil Jakhar tweeted: “Kudos to Sh Rahul Gandhi for adopting Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of Gordian knot.
“Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled Congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis.”
In the political circles, Jakhar, who was elected thrice (2002-2017) from Abohar, is seen as the frontrunner for the CM’s post.
He, however, had lost to Sunny Deol from Gurdaspur in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections despite his party winning eight of the 13 seats in the state. He had won the seat in the bypolls in October 2017 after it fell vacant following the death of sitting BJP MP Vinod Khanna.
The decision to call the CLP came in the wake of a fresh letter signed by at least 50 out of the 80 Congress legislators who had expressed their dissatisfaction with Amarinder Singh and demanded his removal from the Chief Minister’s post.