A day after former Congress MP Jagmeet Singh Brar said that there was no harm if Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi took two years off from the party, the state Congress has slapped a show-cause notice on him.
The notice has been issued following a directive from Punjab affairs incharge Shakeel Ahmed.
While supporting Birender Singh, the rebel Congressman from Haryana, on Friday, Brar had said that after the drubbing of the party in the general election, Sonia and Rahul should take two years off and hand over the reins of the party to a new leader.
The party is in no mood to spare him as not only national and local leaders have criticised him, but state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa has also served a showcause notice on him asking him to explain his conduct by August 5 for his "irresponsible and highly undesirable utterances".
Bajwa said his statement came at a time when the party was seriously discussing the causes and remedies of the setback suffered in the recent elections. Moreover, in Punjab the party was facing the crucial by-election on two seats. Such statements coming from a senior leader had the potential of damaging the prospects of the Congress candidates, he added.
Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh also condemned the statement saying it was unfortunate that the senior leader had breached the party discipline.
"It is wrong to single out Rahul Gandhi for the party's debacle. Rahul had unanimously been chosen by the party to lead the campaign as its vice-president. There were various factors for the debacle," he said.
"Senior leaders like Brar are not expected to behave like leaders of opposition," Amarinder said, adding that "it was outright absurd to seek Rahul Gandhi's resignation".
Party leader Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa also criticised Brar saying the latter had been hand-in-glove with the Badal family. "What Brar is today is because of the Conrgess, which twice sent him to the Rajya Sabha despite his losses in elections. Brar cannot question others as he himself is responsible for the Goa poll defeat. And there are reports that he sold party tickets in Goa," Randhawa said, demanding immediate removal of Brar from the party.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued in Chandigarh, former finance minister Lal Singh and MLAs Parminder Singh Pinki, Gurkirat Singh Kotli and Navtej Singh Cheema described Brar's statement as "provocative, well-calculated and malevolent". The Congressmen demanded strong action against Brar.
They said the stand taken by Brar was "highly reprehensible, inexcusable and unfortunate," coming at a time when the assembly elections were approaching and the need of the hour was to put up a united fight.