Capt Reacts

Amarinder Singh, who was removed as Congress Punjab unit chief, said he would have suggested a different name to replace him had he been consulted. Amarinder, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, was replaced by Gurdaspur MP Pratap Singh Bajwa as the new president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. “I was not consulted on the decision. Had I been consulted, I would have suggested a different name who could lead the party at this crucial time,” Singh said. He said there has been a talk of his replacement for quite some time as the party was finding an able leader to replace him and steer the party.

70-year-old Singh, however, stood behind the party despite his removal and reposed complete faith in the Congress party under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi. “I am a faithful Congress leader and have complete faith in the party under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi. I will abide by all decisions of the party,” he said. Congress removed Singh as its Punjab unit chief in the backdrop of the party’s dismal show in Assembly elections last year.

Bajwa, who has come in his place, is a younger face and a first-time MP. The talk of a change in the Punjab unit has been going for more than a year ever since the party’s defeat at the hands of the SAD-BJP alliance in the Assembly elections in January last year.

The coalition had created history in the state by returning to power. The recent Moga bye-poll loss seemed to have precipitated the change. Congress lost to the Akalis in the bye-poll after its MLA quit the party and recontested as SAD candidate. Singh had been under attack from within the party for his style of functioning. Demands for replacing him were made by various sections in the party. After his appointment, Bajwa said his first priority would be to unite the entire Congress in the state.

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