Punjab’s Congress MLAs today authorised party President Sonia Gandhi to pick a new Chief Minister for the state following the resignation of Captain Amarinder Singh. Emerging from a meeting in Chandigarh, Harish Rawat, the party’s Punjab in-charge, said legislators had passed two resolutions today.
The first resolution thanked Mr Singh for his tenure. The second one authorised Ms Gandhi to choose the next Congress Legislative Party leader who would then become the Chief Minister.
“We’ve sent two resolutions to the party high command which was passed in Congress Legislative Party today. We’re waiting for their (party high command) decision,” Mr Rawat said.
The Congress’s observer for Punjab, Ajay Maken, said there was no discussion on the name of a Congress Legislative Party leader. He told reporters today that 78 of the 80 party MLAs were present in today’s meeting.
“We expect that the party will continue to get guidance of Amarinder Singh,” Mr Maken said.
Mr Singh has, meanwhile, already opposed Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Punjab Congress President, as the next Chief minister, calling him an “incompetent man”.
“He is going to be a disaster. I will oppose his name for the next Chief Ministerial face. He has a connection with Pakistan. It will be a threat to national security,” Mr Singh told news agency ANI.
“He is friends with (Pakistan Army chief) Qamar Javed Bajwa and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.”
Mr Singh today resigned as Punjab Chief Minister, months before polls, saying he had been “humiliated thrice” and that the Congress is free to “appoint whoever they trust”. He also said he would “exercise his options when the time comes”.
A sudden meeting of Punjab MLAs announced by the Congress late last night, with big hints that a majority of them had asked for change, drove a crisis of months to breaking point. Congress’s Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat tweeted about the meeting and Amarinder Singh’s rival Navjot Singh Sidhu shared the post.