Virtually projecting himself as Punjab's next chief minister, Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Captain Amarinder Singh kick-started his statewide mass campaign with a well-attended rally in Jalandhar Cantonment on Wednesday.
Backed by the Congress leadership of Doaba, Amarinder also apparently sounded the bugle for the 2017 assembly elections.
In his speech during the rally, the former CM avoided any direct attack on his bête noire, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Partap Singh Bajwa, but he openly hit out at the latter during the subsequent interaction with the media.
Amarinder took the PPCC chief head-on over the show-cause notices issued to his loyalists Jagbir Brar, who organised the Jalandhar rally, Muktsar MLA Karan Brar and PPCC general secretary Satnam Kainth.
"Issuing notices to the three leaders is a reflection of how poorly Bajwa is handling party affairs. While Jagbir and Kainth had already cited ill health as the reason for not attending Bajwa's function at Adampur (in Jalandhar district) on June 16, Karan Kaur got the notice for a statement which she never gave. I don't know why Bajwa thinks it amounts to any indiscipline in the party," the Amritsar MP said while talking to the media after the rally.
Amarinder claimed to have the support of All India Congress Committee in-charge for Punjab affairs Shakeel Ahmad for his series of rallies. "Ahmad has told the media that he is very happy about my programme," he said, while ruling out the possibility of floating a new party.
The next rally under Captain's mass campaign will be held at Gurdaspur on Thursday.