Captain Amarinder Singh’s resignation from the post of Punjab Chief Minister today evoked some strong reactions from a spectrum of political parties and leaders. While some commented on the state of affairs in the Congress, others, in a diffused manner, targeted it for letting down the state’s farmers.
Omar Abdullah of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference wondered about the nationwide impact of the Congress’s moves in Punjab. But he also prefaced it with caustic comments on the party’s internal problems.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t give a toss about the fratricide in the Congress party – their party, their business. However what the Congress does has a direct fallout for every political party outside the NDA orbit because almost 200 Lok Sabha seats see a direct BJP – Cong fight.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) September 18, 2021
Anil Vij, the Home Minister of Haryana, a state neighbouring Punjab, hinted that Mr Singh’s fate was sealed the day Navjot Singh Sidhu, now the Punjab Congress chief, entered the scene.
“Captain Amarinder Singh has resigned as Punjab Chief Minister. This script was written on the very day that Navjot Singh Sidhu joined the Congress,” he tweeted. Mr Vij also added a Hindi proverb in his Twitter post, implying that ‘disaster follows people like Mr Sidhu’.
The cricketer-turned-politician was with the BJP but quit following differences and joined the Congress in 2017. In recent months, he has been a bitter critic of Mr Singh, but also was perceived to be close to the Congress high command.
Notwithstanding Mr Singh’s strong opposition, Mr Sidhu was made Punjab Congress President a few weeks ago at the end of long and bitter feud.
Even after resigning today, Mr Singh made it clear that “incompetent” Mr Sidhu must not be considered as his replacement.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the party’s and Mr Singh’s long-time rivals, sought to place the turn of events in the context of the ongoing farmers’ protest.
In a tweet composed in the Gurmukhi script, the party’s handle said, “Those who fight only for the ‘chair’ have never fought for the interests of farmers and Punjabis, nor can they ever fight.”
The Congress, led by Mr Singh, and the SAD, led by its patron family of the Badals, have been involved in an intense blame game in recent weeks over the farmers’ protest. The agitation was sparked by three controversial Central laws passed by the NDA government, of which the SAD was a part till recently.