10 Punjab MLAs ask high command not to ‘let down’ Capt. Amarinder

‘Washing dirty linen in public has only decreased the party graph during the last couple of months,’ they said in a joint statement.

Former Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday continued to meet several party leaders amid speculations of his elevation as Pradesh Congress Committee president, even as at least 10 MLAs came out openly in support of Chief Minister Captain (retd.) Amarinder Singh, urging the high command “not to let him down”.

Senior Congress leader and MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who shared a statement on behalf of the MLAs, said they urged the party high command “not to let down” Capt. Singh, due to whose unrelenting efforts the party stood well-entrenched in Punjab.

“There was no doubt that the appointment of State PCC chief was the prerogative of the party high command but at the same time washing dirty linen in public has only decreased the party graph during the last couple of months,” said the MLAs in the joint statement.

The MLAs are Harminder Singh Gill, Fateh Bajwa, Gurpreet Singh, Kuldip Singh Vaid, Balwinder Singh Laddi, Santokh Singh Bhalaipur, Joginderpal, Jagdev Singh Kamalu, Primal Singh Khalsa and Sukhpal Khaira.

They said that Capt. Singh commanded “immense respect” across different sections of society, particularly the farmers for whom he even endangered his chair as Chief Minister while passing the 2004 Termination of Waters Agreement Act.

‘Sidhu should apologise’

They said that the Chief Minister stood as a “tall leader amongst the Sikhs” because of his principled stand during testing times. “Since merely six months were left for the elections, pulling the party into the different directions will only harm its prospects in the 2022 polls,” they said. The MLAs also supported Capt. Singh’s demand that Mr. Sidhu who had made numerous tweets against him and the government should tender a public apology so that the party and government could function in tandem.

The MLAs offered a word of caution to Mr. Sidhu, who they said was a celebrity and was no doubt an asset to the party but condemning and criticising his own party and government in the public has only created a rift in the cadres and weakened it. “We hope the party high command would take cognisance of the suggestions and will definitely keep in mind the status, contribution and background of Captain Amarinder Singh in mind while making vital decisions for the party,” they said.

As Punjab goes to polls early next year, the party’s central leadership is desperate to resolve the stand-off between Capt. Singh and Mr. Sidhu, who had been at loggerheads since the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.

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