Former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh has criticised his successor Partap Singh Bajwa for reportedly going public with 36 names as probable candidates for the 13 Lok Sabha seats from Punjab and for claiming that some of the eight party MPs faced anti-incumbency.
Some media organisations had claimed, on Tuesday, that Bajwa had prepared a list of 36 probable candidates from Punjab and also advised the party high-command on forming a coalition with secular parties.
Amarinder, a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee, said in a press release, that the selection of the candidates was the sole prerogative of party president Sonia Gandhi.
"The PCC president can only make his recommendations and cannot act on his own," he pointed out.
He added that the issue had been raised on a previous occasion too and then Bajwa had publicly acknowledged that it was indeed not his prerogative.
He advised Bajwa to handle such issues in sensitive and sensible manner.
"Bajwa's statement on anti-incumbency against some sitting party MPs will only create unnecessary confusion among the party rank and file demoralise potential party candidates."
Advising Bajwa to restrain himself, he added: "Going public over such issues is not right. The party high-command should be taken into confidence first. Such statements must not be made."
He added that the yardsticks of incumbency and anti-incumbency could not be applied in Punjab, which was being ruled by the Akali-BJP alliance.
"Congress MPs are facing a difficult task, with the government creating impediments in their work. The PCC president should hold the Akali-BJP alliance accountable rather than blaming his own party MPs."
He claimed that most party MPs in the state had done a good job.