‘Not a horse to be put out in pasture’: Captain slams Gandhi family’s ‘interference’, says Sidhu’a elevation created ‘bad blood’

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Updated: October 21, 2021 9:03 AM

Captain Amarinder SIngh said that the Congress lost the ground very quickly in Punjab in the last six months after Sidhu was made the Punjab party president.

Captain Amarinder SIngh said that the Congress lost the ground very quickly in Punjab in the last six months after Sidhu was made the Punjab party president.

Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has said that after leaving the Congress, he could have either floated a new party or join hands with someone, but he couldn’t have sat at home as he can do a lot for Punjab. 

Speaking to News18, the 80-year-old said that Morarji Desai was the prime minister at the age of 92 and Parkash Singh Badal is 15 years older to him, then “why can’t I stay on?”

Singh said that the Congress lost the ground very quickly in Punjab in the last six months after Sidhu was made the Punjab party president, adding that the latter’s elevation in the state “created some bad blood”. 

He said that he had no idea why the Gandhi family asked him to step down as the chief minister, adding that he had never experienced “this sort of interference as the CM”.     

“I had a very close relationship with Rajiv Gandhi…I don’t know why the family did what they did. Everything can’t be decided in Delhi. I got a call from the party President (Sonia Gandhi) to resign. All that she said was that ‘Amarinder, you should resign’,” Singh was quoted by News18 as saying.

He said he told Sonia that he will himself step down as the Punjab chief minister once he leads the party to victory in the upcoming assembly elections. “As far as the Congress is concerned…It is over. I am not a horse to be put out in the pasture,” he said.

Speaking about the upcoming elections, Singh said that he was ready to finalise a seat arrangement with the BJP if the latter agrees to resolve the farmers’ issue. “We will talk to BJP about seat adjustments closer to elections…but for that to happen, BJP must resolve the farmer issues,” he said.

On Tuesday, Singh said he would soon announce his own political party and is hopeful of a seat arrangement with the BJP if the farmers’ issue is resolved in their interest.

Singh resigned as chief minister of Punjab last month after a bitter feud with Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu and infighting in the state unit. The party replaced him with Charanjit Singh Channi.

“Hopeful of a seat arrangement with BJP in 2022 Punjab Assembly polls if farmers protest is resolved in farmers’ interest. Also looking at alliance with like-minded parties such as breakaway Akali groups, particularly Dhindsa and Brahmpura factions,” Singh, who had faced an unceremonious exit from the state government last month, said.

The Akali factions mentioned by Singh are of Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, who were expelled from Sukhbir Singh Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) earlier for revolting against its leadership. Dhindsa then had formed the Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) while Brahmpura had floated the SAD (Taksali). Later, both the leaders formed the SAD (Sanyukt) after the dissolution of SAD (Taksali) and the SAD (Democratic).

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