"I'm Told Raghav Chadha...": Amarinder Singh Jabs Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann

At NDTV conclave, former chief minister Amarinder Singh says he needs to know who exactly is running Punjab since the AAP took power early this year

'I'm Told Raghav Chadha...': Amarinder Singh Jabs Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann

Capt Amarinder Singh spoke exclusively to NDTV in Chandigarh.


Punjab's former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh today said he "does not understand" who exactly is running the state since the AAP took power. "First I need to know who the chief minister is: Bhagwant Mann or Raghav Chadha," said Capt Singh, a former Congress leader who recently joined the BJP. 

Speaking exclusively to NDTV at the 'Sadda Punjab' conclave in Chandigarh on Saturday, he claimed, "Officers tell me all the files go to Raghav Chadha, who approves and sends them back to Bhagwant Mann, so that he can formally put his signatures. Is this the way to do things? This must be the first such instance in India."

He said the "downfall" of the AAP government, in power since March, "has begun already, when usually people take a year or two before judging a new government".

On allegations that he, as chief minister, took directions from the Congress "high command", Capt Singh said, "That's not a fair assessment. The Congress president used to tell me certain things sometimes. Otherwise, no one ever interfered. I used to run my government and take decisions based on what I felt was good for Punjab and good for India."


Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann with Raghav Chadha, AAP's Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab. (File)

The former royal's jibe — that Raghav Chadha, a Punjabi from Delhi who managed the AAP's election campaign, is the power behind the throne — ties into what the state's Opposition has been claiming ever since Mr Chadha got a Rajya Sabha seat from Punjab after the AAP's win and then was appointed Chairman of the state government's Advisory Committee.

Mr Chadha, 34, has said Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, 49, is his "elder brother", whom he intends only to assist. Bhagwant Mann has concurred.