Gandhis totally to blame for Congress rout in Punjab: Amarinder

Published on Mar 14, 2022 08:24 PM IST

Former Punjab CM slammed Congress Working Committee for trying to put blame for the party’s defeat on him instead of “gracefully admitting their own blunders”

Capt Amarinder Singh said the real reason for the defeat of the Congress in Punjab was the party high command first favouring and then failing to rein in people like Navjot Singh Sidhu, “who indulged in tarnishing the image of the party for their own gains”. (HT file photo)
Capt Amarinder Singh said the real reason for the defeat of the Congress in Punjab was the party high command first favouring and then failing to rein in people like Navjot Singh Sidhu, “who indulged in tarnishing the image of the party for their own gains”. (HT file photo)

Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday held the Gandhis totally responsible for the rout of the Congress in the assembly elections, claiming that the party was “comfortably placed” in Punjab before he was unseated as chief minister.

In a statement a day after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) took stock of the drubbing received by the party in five states, Capt Amarinder Singh took digs at the “pompous” state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu and the “corrupt” Charanjit Singh Channi, who replaced him as CM.

After his ouster as CM last year, Capt Amarinder Singh left the Congress and floated the Punjab Lok Congress.

He slammed the CWC for trying to put the blame for the Congress defeat in Punjab on him instead of “gracefully admitting their own blunders”.

Cites poor performance in other states

“The Congress has not only lost in Punjab but also in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur and the Gandhis are entirely to blame for the party’s shameful defeat,” he said.

People across the country have lost faith in the leadership of the Gandhis,” he said, referring to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

On Monday, former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar also questioned the appointment of Channi as the Punjab CM ahead of the polls, mocking a senior party leader for reportedly describing him as an “asset”.

In the just-ended assembly elections, the Congress got just 18 seats, and the Aam Aadmi Party romped home with 92 in a House of 117.

Capt Amarinder Singh claimed several senior leaders within the party were blaming the infighting in the Punjab Congress and the “anti-party” statements of Navjot Sidhu for its bad performance in the state.

“The party had dug its own grave in the border state the day they decided to back an unstable and pompous person like Sidhu, and naming a corrupt man like Channi as chief minister just months before the polls,” he said in a statement in Chandigarh.

Says Cong has no future under Gandhis

The CWC leaders who were claiming that there was strong “anti-incumbency” against his government had conveniently forgotten that he had won every election for the party since 2017, including the civic bodies polls in February 2021, just seven months before his unceremonious removal, Capt Amarinder Singh said.

“These leaders are just sycophants who are trying to shield the family by shifting blame and closing their eyes to the writing on the wall,” he said.

He claimed the Congress had no future under the present set-up.

Favouring Sidhu led to downfall: Capt

Capt Amarinder Singh said the real reason for the defeat in Punjab was the party high command first favouring and then failing to rein in people like Sidhu, “who indulged in tarnishing the image of the party for their own personal gains”.

“In their efforts to discredit me, the party high command joined hands with Navjot and others, and in the process ended up discrediting the party totally.” Capt Amarinder Singh said though he did not owe any explanation to the CWC or the Congress, he had chosen to react to the comments of these leaders just to clarify his position to the people of Punjab, to whom he still felt accountable.

Capt Amarinder Singh was made to resign as the CM last September following a bitter feud between Sidhu and him.

In the 2022 elections, Capt Amarinder Singh’s new party failed to win any seat.

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