Punjab Congress crisis deepens as 50 MLAs 'seek to replace' CM Amarinder Singh ahead of key meet

Over 50 Congress legislators from Punjab have written to party chief Sonia Gandhi seeking that Amarinder Singh be replaced as chief minister...

Over 50 Congress legislators from Punjab have written to party chief Sonia Gandhi seeking that Amarinder Singh be replaced as chief minister, highly placed party sources revealed to news agency PTI on Saturday ahead of a crucial meeting of the Congress Legislative Party in Chandigarh.

As crisis intensifies once again in the Punjab unit of the party -- driven by differences between the chief minister and PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu -- Amarinder Singh is also learnt to have talked to Gandhi and expressed his anguish over his repeated "humiliation". There was no official confirmation about the chief minister calling Gandhi.

Amarinder Singh is learnt to be meeting MLAs close to him in the afternoon at his official residence in Chandigarh.

Sources said the current crisis is "serious" with so many MLAs seeking the chief minister's replacement just a few months ahead of assembly elections in the state.

The MLAs in their letter to Gandhi sought the convening of the CLP meeting, being held at 5 pm on Friday at the Congress Bhawan in Chandigarh. The high command has deputed senior party leaders Ajay Maken and Harish Chaudhary as central observers.

AICC general secretary in-charge for Punjab affairs of the party Harish Rawat will also be present during the meeting.

Sources said anything could happen at today's meeting. If the MLAs insist on their demand, the change in leadership might happen at the CLP meeting itself, they said.

Amarinder Singh's bete-noire and PCC president Sidhu, who is eyeing the chief minister's post, however, is unlikely to be a probable choice for the chief minister's replacement, the sources pointed out.

Former Punjab unit chief Sunil Jakhar may be considered a probable, they said.

Jakhar, who is not an MLA, is believed to be close the top leadership and is considered a prominent Hindu face of the party.

Trouble between the two factions has been brewing for long and Amarinder Singh was strongly opposed to Sidhu's appointment as PCC chief.

Sidhu has been at loggerheads with Amarinder Singh ever since he quit the Punjab cabinet as a minister in 2019. He had become more vocal in his views in the last some months.

Last month, four ministers and around two dozen party legislators had raised the banner of revolt against the Punjab CM and said they had no faith in Amarinder Singh's ability to honour unfulfilled promises.

With inputs from PTI

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India World News: Punjab Congress crisis deepens as 50 MLAs 'seek to replace' CM Amarinder Singh ahead of key meet
Punjab Congress crisis deepens as 50 MLAs 'seek to replace' CM Amarinder Singh ahead of key meet
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