Continuing their verbal duel, Congress’ deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa exchanged another round of barbs on Friday.
Reacting to Bajwa’s statement that disciplinary action would be taken against him, Amarinder questioned the former’s locus standi. “This is Bajwa’s desperate bid to bully all those MLAs and leaders who are publicly seeking his removal,” the Captain said. Bajwa hit back by saying that Amarinder’s outburst was “rooted in his guilty conscience”.
The former CM accused Bajwa of ruining the state Congress. “Ever since he (Bajwa) took charge (of the state unit), the party has seen a progressive decline in Punjab, with no hope of revival.”
Amarinder alleged that Bajwa had failed to capitalise on the strong anti-incumbency against the Akali-BJP alliance during the 2014 parliamentary elections, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) gaining from the situation.
“He (Bajwa) lost not only from Gurdaspur but also on his home turf, Qadian,” he said.
“It does not look good for someone having lost all his reputation, credibility, face and elections to pontificate about others,” he advised Bajwa, while asking him to better introspect and gauge the mood of the masses, particularly that of the Congressmen, instead of trying to find fault with others and threatening them with disciplinary action.
Reacting to Amarinder’s tirade, Bajwa said the outburst was rooted in his (Amarinder’s) guilty conscience as his latest anti-party activity was his brazen and unabashed sabotage of the Dhuri assembly byelection.
On Amarinder’s statement questioning his locus standi in taking action against him, Bajwa said, “I had not taken any name in the news report to which Amarinder has reacted in this vicious style of his. This amounts to admission of his disruptive activities to harm the party repeatedly. His problem is that he is getting hallucinations during daytime. His negativity has further reinforced the perception about him that he is only power-hungry.”
Bajwa came down heavily on the former CM, saying that he sabotaged the Congress in the Dhuri byelection, giving the impression that the party was divided. This was part of his despicable and perverse thinking as his politics had always been guided by his vested political interests, not that of the Congress, said the PPCC chief.
Reacting to the Captain’s charges of ruining the Congress, Bajwa said Amarinder was suffering from selective amnesia. “Amarinder is forgetting that the Congress has lost every election under his leadership since 2007. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, his wife Preneet Kaur lost from their home turf Patiala to a greenhorn, Dr Dharamvira Gandhi. He miserably failed to get his son elected from Samana in the 2012 assembly polls,” said Bajwa.
Bajwa said he had never sold himself to the Shiromani Akali Dal or the BJP and had always kept the party’s interests supreme rather than indulging in activities which would benefit adversaries. He counselled Amarinder to sit back and introspect as to who was benefiting from his disrupting activities and statements over the past two years.