Rallying behind Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Capt Amarinder Singh, as many as 62 of the 71 party candidates who lost the recent state assembly elections said on Thursday that it was wrong to blame him for the party's defeat.
Maintaining that there were several other factors which influenced the final outcome, they appreciated the leadership of Capt Singh for leading the party to secure maximum number of votes across the state.
In a joint statement, these candidates questioned the attempts by "certain vested interests within the party, some of whom had either no standing or were a spent force, for leading a malicious campaign driven by personal agendas against the PPCC president."
They said had it not been the vigorous efforts of Capt Amarinder Singh, the party could have faced the worst outcome. They claimed that the contest in Punjab was so close that it could have swung either way
In an obvious attack on Union minister Ashwani Kumar for his anti-Amarinder utterances, these candidates also questioned the "locus standi of a Union minister" to speak against the PPCC chief.
Describing him as a "rootless wonder", they said the Union minister had left Punjab decades ago and might not even know the name of the assembly segments of the district he claimed to belong to and the only time he contested the parliamentary election, he could not poll even 10,000 votes.