A week after the Congress central leadership took the luncheon diplomacy route to try and broker peace between the warring Punjab Congress leaders, former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday kicked off his own parallel tour, declaring that he would continue to move across the state to meet partymen and nobody could stop him.
State Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa is already in the second phase of his state tour to mobilise party workers in view of the forthcoming elections.
"What is wrong if I meet the party workers? The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) should do its job by conducting political rallies, I will do mine by meeting the workers to motivate them," Amarinder, who was at the residence of local Congress unit president Harjit Singh Parmar, told HT.
The former CM said both the PPCC and he wanted to defeat the SAD-BJP combine in the forthcoming parliamentary polls and how could anyone object to his meeting the partymen. "Bajwa is working hard and I wish him best, but some party workers are demoralised and need to be motivated. I am doing that," he said.
Asked if he was given the lesson in unity by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during their meeting last week, Amarinder said he had a thorough discussion with Rahul on the current political situation and apprised him of the strengths and weaknesses of the party in the state. "I was to meet Sonia Gandhi on Monday but the meeting was postponed," he added.
On the poll alliance with People's Party of Punjab (PPP) being advocated by Bajwa, the former CM expressed his opposition saying, "The PPP does not have any political ground; the Congress will not benefit by forging an alliance with it. Rather, an alliance with the left parties would be more beneficial," he said.
Amarinder will hold a similar meeting at Attari in Amritsar on Tuesday. On October 27, he will meet workers in Barnala, the seat held by his confidant MLA Kewal Dhillon. "The tour will be pan-Punjab and will resume after the assembly session in the last week of October," he said.