At 4:45 September 18, CM Captain Amarinder Singh met with the Governor of Punjab to submit his resignation. With his exit as the chief minister, his council of ministers to resign, as is the procedure for resigning a state’s Chief Minister.
This development comes at a time when the state is riling up for elections. The Punjab assembly elections are four months away.
Congress Legislative Party Meeting
Congress Legislative Party meeting was held late afternoon on Saturday. The All India Congress Committee in charge of Punjab affairs, Harish Rawat, tweeted on Friday night talking about the request for a meeting by many MLAs.
He asked everyone to attend the meeting scheduled for the following afternoon and to facilitate it.
The meeting was called after MLAs and ministers, a majority of whom are detractors of Capt. Amarinder Singh pressed for a change in the person in charge of Punjab’s administrative affairs.
This political crisis in Punjab has been brewing for months and worsened in August when more than 50 MLAs, including four cabinet ministers, declared an open revolt against the then incumbent chief minister.
The ministers claimed to have lost faith in him to fulfil the poll promises.
The primary accusation against Capt. Amarinder Singh is that he conspired with Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The reason behind AICC’s intervention is unknown as of yet. The CLP meeting demanded by the MLAs is to discuss the party’s strategy for the assembly elections scheduled for early 2022, and they approached the party high command with the same demand.
Amarinder Singh said he was humiliated thrice by the congress and that the party was free to appoint anyone they trusted. He indicated that he would not back down without a fight. He said, “there is always an option, and I will use that option when the time comes… at the moment I am still in Congress.”
Amarinder Singh said he feels humiliated with the way the party managed the whole situation. The party’s lack of trust in him and his ability to handle his job deeply disappointed him.
The appointment of Navjot Singh Sidhu as the State Party Chief was opposed by Amarinder Singh. The crisis in Punjab only escalated from the feud between Amarinder Singh and the newly appointed Punjab Congress Chief.
Sunil Jakhar – Frontrunner as CM Replacement
Sunil Jakhar, the former Punjab President, is the frontrunner for the post of the chief minister. The party is looking for a non-Sikh face to counter AAP, sources say. Aam Admi Party is gaining much ground in the state ahead of the assembly elections scheduled for the following year.
Speculation is that the party wants a Sikh as the state party chief and non-Sikh combination to win the elections. Navjot Singh Sidhu is the state party chief. Another name heard commonly is Pratap Singh Bajwa.
The resignation is a surprise because Rawat had previously confirmed that Capt’s 2022 polls would be contested. Amarinder’s command. However, Rawat rolled back on his stance when challenged by Punjab MLA Pargat Singh.