The Congress on Wednesday made it clear that the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab will be fought under the leadership of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. This is seen as a snub for the faction led by state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu that had sought Singh's removal on Tuesday.
The remarks came after four party ministers and three MLAs, who arrived in Dehradun, met the former Uttarakhand CM. “The MLAs have said that they have full confidence in the party and the high command. I will speak to the people concerned about their grievances and, if needed, to the party high command." He also added: “We should work together for the party. If there is already some damage done, we will try to find a solution to it," Rawat said according to news18.com.
Rawat's statement follows a day of acrimony between Singh and Sidhu that saw 23 party MLAs, including 3 ministers, seeking the resignation of the Chief Minister. This was matched by Amarinder Singh loyalists - five ministers and one MLA - demanding action against Sidhu's advisors who courted controversy with their recent comments.
"Captain should be replaced else the Congress won't survive... we will meet Sonia Gandhi over the issue," said cabinet minister Tript Singh Bajwa, according to ndtv.com. This slanging match came a month after the Congress central leadership thought they had put a lid on the feud between the warring leaders in the poll-bound state. Sidhu had taken over as PCC chief on July 24 as part of a peace formula brokered by the Gandhis.
The already sour ties between Singh and Sidhu worsened in the past few days after two advisers of Sidhu -- Malvinder Singh Mali and Pyare Lal Garg -- came under severe attack from within the party on Monday for their controversial remarks on Kashmir and Afghanistan.
Angry over the comments, Amarinder Singh had asked Sidhu to rein in his advisors. Following this, Sidhu summoned both to his Patiala residence on Monday, but it was not immediately known what was decided there.