Punjab Congress crisis: ‘No threat to party or govt,’ says Harish Rawat after meeting four rebel ministers

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Updated: August 25, 2021 4:17 PM

Harish Rawat said he met four ministers and three MLAs from the state who expressed their concern about the Congress' chance of winning in the state. 

Harish Rawat said he met four ministers and three MLAs from the state who expressed their concern about the Congress' chance of winning in the state. 

Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat on Wednesday said that there was no threat to the party or state government, adding that a solution will be brought to resolve the issue. The remarks came after Rawat met four Punjab ministers who have renewed the rebellion against Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

“There’s no threat to the party or govt. There’s no threat to chances of our victory either. These people themselves will give way to chances of our victory. A solution will be brought,” Rawat said after meeting ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Charanjit Singh Channi.

The AICC general secretary said he met four ministers and three MLAs from the state who expressed their concern about the Congress’ chance of winning in the state.

“Four ministers and three MLAs met me. They expressed their concerns and said that they’re concerned about chances of party’s victory in state. They said they’re not against anyone, they want to go to the polls with a clear roadmap so that we win,” Rawat told reporters in Dehradun after the meeting.

“They also had some grievances about the functioning of the state and district administrations. If a Congress MLA considers himself insecure and thinks that admn can try to make them lose or work against them, then it’s a matter of concern,” he added.

These ministers, known detractors of Amarinder Singh, and around two dozen legislators on Tuesday had held a meeting here and sought replacement of the chief minister, saying they have “lost faith in him” over the issue of unfulfilled promises.

They had questioned the ability of the CM in honouring the unfulfilled poll promises such as delay in justice in desecration of a religious text in 2015, arrest of “big fish” involved in drug rackets and scrapping power purchase agreements.

They also said that they would meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi to apprise her of the sentiments prevailing in the party. They had held a meeting amid severe criticism of two advisers of Punjab Congress Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu for making controversial remarks on sensitive issues like Kashmir and Pakistan.

The demand for seeking replacement of the CM has pushed the Punjab Congress into a fresh crisis. It also indicated that the party’s recent efforts to quell dissent in the state unit with Sidhu’s appointment have come a cropper.

Bajwa, who is leading the disgruntled group of leaders, on Tuesday, had said they would seek time to meet the Congress president and apprise her of the political situation. He had also said “drastic” steps need to be taken and if there is a need to change the chief minister, then it should be done. When asked if an attempt was being made to oust the chief minister, Bajwa had told reporters it’s not an attempt but the demand of people.

Bajwa had alleged that a perception has gained ground in Punjab that Amarinder Singh and the Shiromani Akali Dal have “colluded” with each other. The rebel ministers along with few other legislators also met Sidhu on Tuesday.

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