Captain Amarinder Singh, who resigned as Punjab Chief Minister after months of factional feud in the state unit of the Congress, conveyed his best wishes to his successor, Charanjit Singh Channi, whose name was declared on Sunday by the party.
Mr Singh’s message was posted on Twitter by Raveen Thukral, his media advisor.
“My best wishes to Charanjit Singh Channi. I hope he’s able to keep the border state of Punjab safe and protect our people from the growing security threat from across the border,” Mr Singh said in the message.
The former Indian Army Captain has in the past few days repeatedly emphasised the theme of national security in the context of the political crisis in his state that led to his replacement.
Referring to the possibility of Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, his bete noir, being a contender to the Chief Minister’s post, Mr Singh had said, “For the sake of my country, I’ll oppose his (Navjot Singh Sidhu) name for Chief Minister of Punjab. It’s a matter of national security. Pakistan PM Imran Khan is his friend. Sidhu has a relation with Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.”
In August, he had lashed out at one of Mr Sidhu’s aides for commenting on “sensitive national issues” after he said both Pakistan and India were in illegal occupation in Kashmir.
Mr Singh resigned yesterday as Chief Minister at the end of months of public feuding between him and a section of the Punjab Congress, most visibly led by Mr Sidhu. The cricketer-turned-politician, who joined the party in 2017 after having spent time with the BJP, was elevated to head the party’s Punjab unit, much to the chagrin of Mr Singh.
In a separate tweet, he expressed gratitude for Punjab’s government employees and wished them to continue with their services in the same “zeal and commitment”.
On the eve of relinquishing my duties as CM, I thank the officers & employees of the State for giving their best to put Punjab on the path of peace & progress in the 4.5 years of my Government. May you continue to serve the people of the State with the same zeal & commitment.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) September 19, 2021
Mr Channi is expected to take his oath of office tomorrow.