Chorus against the expected elevation of AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi grew louder on Monday, with 33 MLAs in Punjab rallying behind the deputy leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Capt Amarinder Singh, who has maintained that only Sonia Gandhi could lead the party under the current circumstances.
They have also condemned Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Partap Singh Bajwa for seeking Amarinder Singh’s expulsion on the issue.
Defending the Amritsar MP, 33 out of 43 Congress legislators in Punjab, in a joint statement, said, “ Capt Amarinder had time and again reiterated that he was not against Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as the Congress president but this was about the right time and circumstances.”
Captain had created a storm in the party by making a statement on Rahul ahead of his much-awaited return from a “sabbatical”.
He had said: “As a vice-president, Rahul Gandhi should work closely with the Congress president. And the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, should retain her position because she is the only person who can steer the party in the circumstances prevailing now.”
Bajwa, a protege of Rahul, had joined the issue and sought Amarinder Singh’s expulsion from the party.
“It is an irony that the most unpopular leader of Congress like Partap Bajwa is seeking the expulsion of the most popular leader of the party in Punjab,” they remarked, saying Bajwa was mistaken if he thought that he could make some political bargain out of speaking against Captain.
The legislators also condemned Bajwa for trying to create confusion by distorting Captain Amarinder Singh’s statement on the change of leadership.
Asserting that Bajwa was deliberately trying to sow discord within the rank and file of Congress to damage it further as he had no stakes left in the party and his removal was imminent and inevitable, they asked him to better be quiet and quit the party.