Oppn sniffs opportunity in Punjab Congress ‘revolt’, asks Capt to quit or face trust vote

The parties have expressed apprehension of a breakdown in the governance and administrative machinery in the state in view of the policy paralysis emanating from the infighting.

Opposition parties in Punjab pointed towards a constitutional and governance crisis developing in the state due to infighting in the ruling Congress and demanded that either the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh should resign or he should seek a vote of confidence in the Vidhan Sabha.

Reacting to the developments within the Congress wherein several Cabinet ministers have expressed their lack of confidence in Capt Amarinder Singh as the Chief Minister and sought his removal, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and SAD (Samyukt) have said that it is not only Amarinder, but his entire government has “lost the popular mandate” to stay in office.

The parties have expressed apprehension of a breakdown in the governance and administrative machinery in the state in view of the policy paralysis emanating from the infighting.

“If the current tempest and the open revolt against the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in the Congress legislature party is taken at its face-value, than it is apparently clear that the Chief Minister has lost the confidence of the majority of the Congress legislators and as such he is reduced to minority within the CLP and as such the government headed by him is a minority government,” said former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha and senior leader of SAD (Samyukt), Bir Devinder Singh.

He added that it appears that he has lost backing of the Congress legislature party to run the constitutional government, therefore, either he should voluntarily resign forthwith or immediately seek the vote of confidence on the floor of the Vidhan Sabha by summoning an emergency session of the House. “The volatile political situation and the constitutional crisis warrants immediate intervention of the Governor as constitutional head of the state,” said Bir Devinder.

He said the Governor must ask the Chief Minister to prove his majority in the House within 24 hours.
“A beleaguered Chief Minister cannot be allowed to carry on his constitutional obligation if he is unable to prove his majority on the floor of the House,” he added.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) termed the ongoing rift in the ruling Congress as unfortunate for the state and the people stating that the only goal of Captain and the Congress was to save their ‘chair’. Leader of Opposition, Harpal Singh Cheema, said that if the Congress ministers and MLAs were so unhappy with the Captain government and did not agree with the Chief Minister they should immediately resign.

“What revolution will you bring in the next five months by grabbing the Chief Minister’s chair, without leaving your ministership?” questioned Cheema. He demanded the resignation of the Congress MLAs and ministers and said that if they were truly pro-Punjab then they should immediately overthrow the government and apologise to the people of Punjab.

Cheema also said that the rebel ministers were trying to be too clever by half by attempting to put the blame of misgovernance on only one person.

“But today, four and-a-half-years later, by levelling allegations only on Captain Amarinder Singh, the rebels including Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu and Cabinet Ministers Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Charanjit Singh Channi, Sukh Sarkaria and others do not become righteous,” he said.

He added that AAP has been rightly blaming the Congress government for the past four and a half years for being hand in glove with the Akalis and the Congress infighting has proven that.

Harpal Singh Cheema said for the last-four-and-a-half years, these alleged rebel Congressmen have also been part of the ‘mafia rule’. “These ministers are appointed by the Punjab CM and are equally responsible for every good or bad decision. When the MLAs and ministers have been silent or mainly advocating, they cannot blame the failures of the government on any one person or faction,” he added.
Cheema said the Congress party which had been a partner in the blind loot of the resources of the state and the people for four-and-a-half-years has been jolted into action as the people have started asking questions.

Harpal Singh Cheema also questioned the expenses incurred by the ministers on their visit to Dehradun to meet the state in charge Harish Rawat. He asked whether the ministers who had gone to Dehradun in a convoy of government cars would explain what the personal battle of the Congressmen had to do with the people of Punjab and the exchequer. “Helicopters have also been misused during such infighting before. Who will account for it?” questioned Cheema.

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