Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s “bold leadership” in resolving the impasse in the party’s Punjab unit has “enthralled Congress workers” and sent a message to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), former state unit chief Sunil Jakhar said on Saturday.
The comments come amid pressure from Congress MLAs in Punjab to replace Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. A meeting of the Congress Legislature Party is scheduled later for the day, where the matter will be further discussed. Rahul Gandhi will also attend the meeting.
“Kudos to Rahul Gandhi for adopting Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of Gordian knot. Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis,” Jakhar said in a tweet, referring to the complex problems that can only be resolved with bold initiative.
Meanwhile, ahead of the CLP meeting, the chief minister told Congress chief Sonia Gandhi that he cannot “continue in the party with this kind of humiliation". The meeting is supposed to signal a change in leadership in the state, weeks after the Congress brokered peace between the CM and the newly-appointed state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Meanwhile, the SAD called Singh "the most hated man in Punjab", with party president Sukhbir Singh Badal saying, "If you conduct a poll on the most hated man in Punjab, the result will be Captain Amarinder Singh. Not only us, but people and Congress MLAs are also against him," according to NDTV.
According to sources, the chief minister is likely to step down from his role this evening, with three names rumoured to take over as his replacements. Jakhar is one of those potential candidates, with Pratap Singh Bajwa and Beant Singh's grandson and MP Ravneet Singh Bittu also in the contention.
The chief minister will address a press conference at 4:30 pm today, where a decision on his future is expected to be made.