Former chief minister and special invitee to Congress Working Committee Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday rejected the advice of AICC general secretary and Punjab in-charge Shakeel Ahmed, who had advised the disgruntled leaders to approach Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa for addressing their problems.
Amarinder said there was need for direct intervention of the AICC for settling grievances raised by the state leaders as Bajwa had failed to please even a single faction of the Congress in the state.
"Ahmed has issued a wrong statement. Here all (dissidents) have grouses against Bajwa, so how can he resolve them? The advice is uncalled for and the matter can be resolved only with the intervention of the senior leadership," Amarinder said, rejecting the advice of the AICC general secretary.
"I am going to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday, while I have requested for an appointment with vice-president Rahul Gandhi for Tuesday," he said. "If Ahmed is not willing to step in, then what is his role as the state in-charge?" Amarinder wondered.
He said that instead of advising the state leaders, Ahmed should step in to resolve the issue. "It's the duty of the general secretary to resolve the issues where the PPCC president fails. During my tenure as the PPCC president and chief minister, sometimes there arose such a situation, and then also the AICC general secretary had played a role. Thus, Ahmed should himself hear the aggrieved leaders," he said.
Amarinder said Bajwa should not hold a meeting in such a situation when most of the senior leaders had rejected his list and around 50 senior leaders had resigned. "I don't know why he is holding a meeting in such a situation when everyone is unhappy," Amarinder said, adding that there was a dire need for giving due representation of all groups -- castes, genders and communities -- and the present list lacks it. "Thus, there is need to re-draw the list so that the party can put a strong face in the Lok Sabha elections," he added.