Amarinder Singh Says He'll Run A Strong Candidate Against Navjot Sidhu

On Saturday, only four months before the Punjab election, Amarinder Singh quit, telling Sonia Gandhi that he was embarrassed by the party's decision to conduct an emergency meeting of Punjab MLAs without consulting him.

Amarinder Singh Says He'll Run A Strong Candidate Against Navjot Sidhu
Amarinder Singh Says He'll Run A Strong Candidate Against Navjot Sidhu

Last weekend, Amarinder Singh, who was abruptly dismissed as Punjab Chief Minister, gave troubling indications for his Congress party, threatening to file a candidate against Navjot Sidhu in the Punjab election and "make whatever sacrifice" to prevent him from becoming Chief Minister.

In a series of interviews, the smirking "Captain" also claimed that when he offered to resign three weeks ago, Sonia Gandhi requested him to stay on, and called Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra "inexperienced and misguided." 

Mr Singh announced his resignation on Saturday, only four months before the Punjab poll, telling Congress President Sonia Gandhi that he was embarrassed by the party's decision to summon an emergency meeting of Punjab MLAs without consulting him. 

Charanjit Singh Channi, a close friend of Mr Singh's bitter adversary Navjot Sidhu, took control two days later. Mr Singh said he would fight Navjot Sidhu's appointment as chief minister "tooth and nail" and would be willing to make any sacrifice to safeguard the country from "such a dangerous individual." 

"He (Sidhu) is harmful for the state," Mr Singh said, adding that he will field a strong candidate against him in the 2022 assembly elections to secure his defeat. The 79-year-old Congressman stressed that his political choices were open and that he was consulting "friends" before deciding on his next steps. "You may be old at 40 and young at 80," he said, making it clear that his age was not a barrier for him.

The former Chief Minister did not spare the Gandhis in his recriminations. "I was ready to leave after the victory but never after a loss... If she (Sonia Gandhi) had just called me and asked me to step down, I would have. As a soldier, I know how to do my task and leave once I am called back," he said.

Mr Singh claimed that after leading the Congress to victory in the Punjab elections, he told Sonia Gandhi that he was willing to step down and enable someone else to take control. "But that did not happen," he warned, "therefore I will fight." 

He was irritated by the way the party convened a conference in order to force his hand. "I would not have flown MLAs to Goa or anywhere else. That's not the way I work. I'm not one for gimmicks, and the Gandhi siblings are well aware of this... This should not have ended like this... Priyanka and Rahul are like my children. I'm in pain, "he stated 

The "Gandhi children" were "very inexperienced," according to the Captain, and their advisors were leading them astray.

Mr Singh took a dig at Mr Sidhu's apparent "interference" in the new Chief Minister's domain and said it was "sad" that someone who could not handle his ministry should be managing the cabinet. "If Sidhu behaves as the super CM, the party won't function. Under this drama master's leadership, it would be a big thing if the Congress manages to touch double digits in the Punjab polls," he said.