Two senior Congress leaders of Amritsar have appealed to the party high command to hand over the reins of the party in Punjab to former chief minister and local MP Capt Amarinder Singh.
“Amarinder is not just the tallest leader in the party in Punjab, but he is also the most popular political figure in the state. He is the best man to lead the Congress into the 2017 assembly polls here,” stated Sunil Datti and Karamjit Singh Rintu, both members of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC).
Defending Amarinder for his defence of Sonia Gandhi as the party president, the duo, in a joint statement issued here on Friday, said by supporting the Congress president, the Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha had committed no offence.
On the contrary, they said, he had shown the courage to speak of his mind and favoured Sonia’s continuation as the party chief.
“However, there are some among us who are trying to make an issue out of his utterances. These elements are trying to label him as someone who is opposed to Rahul Gandhi and are demanding that the party get rid of him,” they said.
Speaking of Amarinder’s popularity, the duo pointed to his astounding victory in the Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar last year. They sought to know from the Capt’s critics of their own popularity among the people of the state and also among party colleagues.
“It was this victory over BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley that kept the Congress flag flying high in Punjab. Despite winning just three out of total 13 seats in the state, the spirit of Congressmen and the morale of the party got a boost with this victory. And one loss made the SAD-BJP feel that they had lost the entire state,” they said, while urging the party leaders in Delhi to reflect on the aspect when discussing the PPCC leadership.
The leaders felt that the time had come to strength the party for the upcoming assembly polls. “This can best be done if the command is handed over to Amarinder,” they opined.