Congress Seeks Clarification From Amarinder Singh On Punjab Unit Dissent

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is facing major dissent among MLAs and state ministers over several of his moves.

Congress Seeks Clarification From Amarinder Singh On Punjab Unit Dissent

Amarinder Singh has come under fire recently from his colleagues in the Punjab Congress.

New Delhi:

The central Congress leadership today sought more clarification from Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh over several issues and problems raised by MLAs and ministers in the state unit, informed sources have said. He met a central team of the party in New Delhi amid ongoing infighting back home.

The committee's report -- based on a fact-finding exercise -- has more or less been completed, sources in the know told NDTV. It delves into the various allegations levelled against Mr Singh, including his responses and rejoinders to each issue raised by his critics in Punjab Congress.

Earlier this month, the Chief Minister had met a three-member panel constituted by party chief Sonia Gandhi to resolve the factionalism ahead of next year's Assembly elections in one of the few states the party rules.

A section of the party's leaders in the state has opposed Mr Singh's leadership, citing his government's inaction in sacrilege cases, under-representation of Dalits, and his inaccessibility.

The Chief Minister's recent move to give government jobs to the sons of two Congress MLAs on "compassionate" grounds has caused much heartburn.

However, the central leadership has ruled out a change in leadership, given that elections are only months away. The committee has emphasised the need for unity, which seems difficult at this stage given Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu's public posturing against the Chief Minister.

Mr Sidhu recently attacked the Chief Minister after the state government suffered a legal setback in a 2015 case involving the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib, an emotive issue in Punjab.

His attacks subsequently turned into a full-fledged revolt against Mr Singh. Many in Punjab Congress, and the high command, are upset with the former cricketer over this.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi will now meet Mr Singh after the committee's report is submitted, hoping there can be some reconciliation.

However, as one senior Congress leader said, a delay will only worsen the party's problems in Punjab.