Despite leading his party to an overwhelming victory in the civic body polls, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh could still face a bumpy ride with some of his own legislators raising questions over the ‘Captain for 2022’ slogan in the run up to the Assembly polls that are less than a year away.
Some party legislators have expressed surprise at the announcement of the Congress party chief Sunil Jakhar that Captain Amarinder could be the face for the next Assembly elections.
While speaking to News18.com, Congress leader Pargat Singh said, “Results of the civic elections are no indicator of the Assembly elections. The previous civic elections were won by the SAD-BJP combine and then they lost the Assembly elections.”
Singh argued that there were certain promises that the Congress party had made to people before coming to power in the State. “Weeding out the drug menace was one of the promises made by the government, generating employment to name a few,” said Singh.
However, he added that the high command in the party decides and it should be left to them as to who leads the party in the Assembly elections. Earlier Punjab Congress-in-charge, Harish Rawat, had also mentioned that leaders like Navjot Sidhu should be getting more active in state politics and party. “In the coming days, leaders like Navjot Sidhu should be taking up more active roles.”
Speculations about the rift and Sidhu wanting to garner a much larger role for him have been heightened with the cryptic tweets that the former minister has been tweeting which indirectly targets the Chief Minister and the government.
On Thursday, there were more tongues wagging when Sidhu skipped a pre-marriage lunch party thrown by the CM for the MLAs for his grand-daughter’s marriage. There are other leaders too who have been voicing their opinion against Captain Singh and the continuation of Jakhar as the party president. Senior leaders like Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa have been in talks with the Congress high command on the need to remove Amarinder Singh as the CM.
With elections scheduled to be held in March 2022, dissensions and murmurs of protest will only be growing. It remains to be seen whether the party goes into the elections with a united façade.