Situation critical in Punjab, Amarinder Singh meets loyal MLAs before CLP show
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh is holding a meeting at his official residence with Congress MLAs loyal to him, according to news agency ANI. The meeting is crucial in view of the ongoing political tussle between Singh and state Congress chief Navjot Sidhu and comes hours before the Congress legislature party (CLP) called by the party leadership.
The chief minister's media adviser Raveen Thukral said on Twitter that Singh will hold a press conference at 4.30pm. People aware of the developments in the politically volatile state say that he may announce his resignation at the press conference.
The crisis in Punjab Congress intensified after Singh reportedly expressed concerns to party president Sonia Gandhi as several MLAs close to Sidhu have been questioning his leadership.
Sidhu was spotted at the Chandigarh airport on Saturday, where he received Congress observer Ajay Maken ahead of the CLP meeting. Maken and Sidhu are reported to have arrived at the party office in Chandigarh. Ministers in the Punjab government, including Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Charanjit S Channi, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh had already arrived at the party office.
Amid the rapidly unfolding high-voltage drama, former state Congress president Sunil Jakhar lauded Rahul Gandhi for his “bold leadership decision” in a Twitter post but didn't elaborate on the decision that is about to be taken at the scheduled CLP meet.
“Kudos to Sh @RahulGandhi for adopting Alexandrian solution to this punjabi version of Gordian knot. Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis,” he tweeted.
Punjab Congress general secretary Pargat Singh, who was also at the Chandigarh airport to receive Maken, earlier refused to entertain a question about Singh's resignation and names of Ambika Soni and Sunil Jakhar among the probable for the chief ministerial post.
“Meeting (CLP meet) has been called. Things will be discussed in the meeting,” he said.