Even as Navjot Singh Sidhu, in anticipation of his elevation as PCC chief, has started meeting party legislators, senior party leader Sukhpal Khaira — claiming support of 10 Congress MLAs — has urged the high command not to let down Captain Amarinder Singh “due to whose unrelenting efforts the party stands well entrenched in Punjab”.
In a joint statement issued by Khaira, who recently crossed over to Congress from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), he said there was no doubt that the appointment of state PCC chief was the prerogative of the party high command but at the same time washing dirty linen in public has only dipped the party graph during the last couple of months.
The MLAs said that it was due to Captain that the party regained power in Punjab in the aftermath of 1984 attack on Darbar Sahib and the subsequent genocide of the Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere in the country.
“The Chief Minister commanded immense respect across different sections of the society in the state, particularly the farmers for whom he even endangered his chair as CM while passing the 2004 Termination of Waters Agreement Act,’’ the statement said.
The statement added that Captain Amarinder had to also face extreme vendetta politics at the hands of the Badal family, for filing corruption and disproportionate assets case against them in his first tenure as chief minister.
The MLAs said that since merely six months were left for the elections, pulling the party into different directions will only harm its prospects in the 2022 polls. They also supported the demand of Capt Amarinder Singh that Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had made numerous tweets against him and the government, should tender a public apology, so that the party and government can function in tandem.
The MLAs offered a word of caution to Navjot Singh Sidhu, who they said was a celebrity and was no doubt an asset to the party but condemning and criticising his own party and government in public view has only created a rift in the cadres and weakened it.
The MLAs said they hoped the party high command would take cognizance of their suggestions and will definitely keep in mind the status, contribution and background of Captain Amarinder Singh in mind while making vital decisions for the party.