Amarinder-Rahul faceoff is not new, it turned full circle today

The Punjab crisis which began with Amarinder Singh’s festering feud with Navjot Sidhu, who was appointed the state party chief in July, despite stiff resistance from the captain, is believed to be at the behest of Rahul Gandhi, as the feud between Amarinder Singh and Rahul Gandhi began when the latter wanted to back Pratap Singh Bajwa in the run up to Assembly elections in 2017.

However, stiff resistance from the Amarinder camp forced the Congress to announce him as chief minister candidate. Bajwa was however made state Congress chief but time and again problems between Rahul Gandhi and Amarinder Singh cropped up as the Punjab CM was not in sync with the close aides of Rahul Gandhi, leaders in the know of things have told IANS.

Amarinder Singh said he has been humiliated not once, or twice but thrice, which turned out to be a breaking point for him and the team led by Rahul Gandhi. He said that he has been in politics for 52 years and as a Chief Minister for 9.5 years, but months ahead of elections, the Congress gamble may prove counter productive as he was long credited for the farmers agitation and countering the union government.

After quitting the chief minister’s post of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh said that the “future options are open”. He said he will talk to his supporters as he said he was feeling humiliated in the Congress party.

Since Rahul Gandhi had made up his mind to remove the Captain, was evident as even after stiff resistance from Amarinder Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed as the state party chief and to complete the task from behind the scene was Harish Chaudhary, who is Revenue Minister in Rajasthan and was Secretary Punjab Affairs.

But it seems Amarinder Singh has not given up and during elections, he may make a comeback. Having defeated Arun Jaitley in 2014 polls, he is a tough man to bow down easily as many in the Congress symphathise with him as his son Raninder hinted, “I am proud to accompany my father to Raj Bhavan when he submits his resignation as CM of Punjab and leads us as head of our family into a new beginning et all.”

Just minutes ahead of the crucial Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting on Saturday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reached the Governor’s house and submitted his and his council of ministers resignation and said, “I told Congress President that I will be resigning today. Did they have an element of doubt that I couldn’t run the government, I feel humiliated. Whoever they have faith in, can be made chief minister.”

–IANS

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