Terming the luncheon meeting by Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh as an “anti-party activity”, his arch-rival and senior Congress leader Brahm Mohindra on Saturday said that by “dividing the state Congress” the former chief minister was working against the high command.
Questioning the Captain’s statement that he was hosting the lunch to draw a strategy to attack the SAD-BJP in Punjab, five-time MLA Mohindra said, “What stopped Amarinder from attacking the SAD-BJP in Parliament, where he remained absent the entire session. He should have done it in there. Now what is the urgency?”
Mohindra told Amarinder, “You missed a great opportunity of attacking the SAD-BJP on the drugs issue in Parliament, which could have projected them in poor light at the national level. After missing the chance, now you say that you want to draw a strategy to attack them. First practise, then preach.” Mohindra said the Captain was using Punjab Congress leaders by calling them for lunch, to project himself as a bigger leader than the Congress in Punjab, which was not so. “What you are today is because of the Congress,” Mohindra told Amarinder.
Launching a no-holds-barred attack against the Amritsar MP, Mohindra reminded Amarinder about 1997 when Shiromani Akali Dal president Parkash Singh Badal had “denied him the ticket” and his political career was “almost over”.
“Don’t be ungrateful to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who not only took you into Congress but also made the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief, chief minister and the campaign committee chairman. Breaking from tradition, the Congress had announced you as the future CM even before the 2012 assembly elections, but you failed to live up to the expectations,” Mohindra said, adding, “It’s payback time for you. All political and social respect you have is because of the Congress and Sonia Gandhi; thus, you should pay back to the party by keeping personal ambitions aside and by working for strengthening the party.”
Mohindra said he was not against inner party discussions, if at the party forum. “When Amarinder had met Sonia Gandhi, what was the need of going to the media against the PPCC president,” Mohindra asked, adding that if Amarinder was serious about taking the SAD-BJP head-on, he should have called a general house meeting of the PPCC or asked the CLP leader.