'Humiliated thrice': Amarinder Singh quits as Punjab CM, says 'will exercise options when time comes'

By Online Desk

Congress veteran Amarinder Singh on Saturday resigned as chief minister of Punjab, capping months of a power tussle that had polarised the ruling party in the state headed for elections in just about four months.

“I feel humiliated”, says Amarinder Singh after resigning as Punjab CM. The Congress is free to “appoint whoever they trust”, Amarinder said, adding that he would “exercise his options when the time comes”.

Singh had decided to put in his papers ahead of the crucial CLP meeting in Chandigarh on Saturday evening, sources close to him said.

In a tweet, the media adviser said, “Punjab Chief Minister @capt_amarinder will address a press conference at Punjab Raj Bhawan Gate at 4:30 pm.”

Amarinder Singh, who had been facing internal feud and in-house attacks for months, had told Congress chie Sonia Gandhi on Saturday morning that he had put up with enough humiliation. “This kind of humiliation is enough, this is happening for the third time. I can’t continue to stay in the party with this kind of humiliation,” Singh told Sonia Gandhi.

Amarinder Singh’s move came as factionalism again surfaced in the state unit with sections opposed to him requesting a meeting of Congress Legislature Party. Punjab is scheduled to go to the polls early next year.

Four rebel ministers and MLAs had written to the party’s command demanding a meeting of the legislature party. Some of them conveyed that he does not enjoy the support of the majority of MLAs.

When the tussle in Punjab escalated in August, the party’s central leadership has sought to bury the hatchet by appointing Navjot Singh Sidhu as the Congress chief apparently against the desire of the Chief Minister.

Amarinder Singh, who was Captain during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War, took the oath as the 26th Chief Minister of Punjab in 2017 after Congress won the Assembly Elections with the majority.

He served as president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee from 2010 to 2013.

Singh had served as a member of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha for five terms representing Patiala (Urban) thrice and Samana and Talwandi Sabo once each.

In 2015, he was again elected as President of the Punjab Congress. Singh resigned from Lok Sabha on November 23, 2016, and fully dedicated himself to Punjab polls and the party came in power in the state with a majority. 

Former Punjab Congress chiefs Sunil Jakhar and Pratap Singh Bajwa, and Beant Singh’s grandson Ravneet Singh Bittu are now the frontrunners of the CM post.

(With agency inputs)