A few days after cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Awaaz-e-Punjab said it was ready for a pact with Congress, minus its state president Capt Amarinder Singh, party general secretary and state affairs in-charge Asha Kumari voiced her support in Amarinder’s favour on Monday.
The Himachal Pradesh MLA said Amarinder was appointed by the Congress high command to lead the party through 2017 elections.
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Kumari told The Indian Express, “Anyone who has faith in Congress ideology and leadership is most welcome to join us unconditionally. Nobody can ask for Amarinder’s replacement.”
Refuting Awaaz-e-Punjab claims that Sidhu was in touch with Congress, Kumari said, “It seems he is in touch with some state leaders inimical to Amarinder.”
Kumari’s is the first voice that has come in support of Amarinder after Sidhu and his party claimed they did not want to support Amarinder for his alleged nexus with the Badals. Amarinder himself has been maintaining a studious silence on Sidhu’s latest statement and evading queries on the issue.
Former Punjab Congress chief and now MP Partap Singh Bajwa and Amarinder’s poll strategist Prashant Kishor are learnt to be in touch with Sidhu. It is also learnt that two common friends of vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Sidhu have also been in touch.
Party sources said Sidhu’s issue may be taken up in meeting of Punjab Congress leaders with Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Wednesday, when he is meeting leaders from all states after returning from a month-long campaign in Uttar Pradesh. They maintained that the Punjab campaign was centered around Amarinder.
Bir Devinder likely to be taken back
A few months after sacking him from Congress, the party is likely to take former Deputy Speaker of Vidha Sabha Bir Devinder Singh in its fold. Singh was sacked from Congress by Amarinder for writing a piece in a newspaper column calling Amarinder “inaccessible”.