Captain Amarinder wants Sonia Gandhi to continue as Congress chief

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Apr 09, 2015 09:29 IST

Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha and Amritsar member of Parliament (MP) Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday joined the chorus for continuing with Sonia Gandhi as the president of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

Earlier, senior party leader Ambika Soni had batted for retaining Sonia as the AICC chief, at a time when young leaders of the party want vice-president Rahul Gandhi to take charge.

“As a Congressman and in my personal capacity, I want Sonia Gandhi to continue as the Congress president. The party needs her. Sonia ji has experience of 16 years as the party chief, and we must draw benefit from this experience to help the party sail through this toughest time,” said Amarinder, while replying to a volley of questions about a change of guard in the Congress.

He, however, added that Rahul had become a learned leader and would eventually take charge of the party.

Flanked by Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) vice-president Lal Singh and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar, Amarinder said people who had voted for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were feeling dejected. “AAP was a phenomena or a movement which has now faded away. Arvind Kejriwal’s real face has surfaced and AAP voters have now realised that they had been cheated,” he said, adding that AAP had lost its ground in Punjab and voters would return to the Congress to punish the Shiromani Akali Dal for its eight-year ‘misrule’.

“Kejriwal came to power by making false promises. How can he promise more water for Delhi from the Yamuna when it is partially under Haryana’s control?” he asked.

The former CM said Punjab would not allow any extra water to go Haryana’s way. “Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal must clarify how Union water resources minister Uma Bharti promised to Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar that the NDA is making a roadmap to resolve the contentious water dispute between Punjab and Haryana,” he said, while asking, “Is she is above the Supreme Court?”

The matter is pending in the apex court, then how can the NDA convene parleys on the issue, Amarinder wondered. “Water is an emotive issue for Punjab and I warn Uma Bharti and Badal not to play with it, otherwise the consequences would be dangerous,” he said.

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