Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has requested his Congress colleague and former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to "continue working keeping the interest of the party above all else."
Mr Gehlot in a tweet on the Congress crisis in Punjab said the party's high command only takes decisions based on feedback from MLAs and the public, and leaders must think in the interest of the party.
"Captain Saheb is a respected leader of the party and I hope that he will continue to work keeping the interests of the party ahead," Mr Gehlot tweeted.
The Rajasthan Chief Minister's tweet comes a day after Mr Singh while resigning as Chief Minister said he had been "humiliated thrice" and that the Congress is free to "appoint whoever they trust". "There is always an option, and I will use that option when the time comes... at the moment I am still in Congress," Mr Singh said.
The "options" comment by Mr Singh has led to much speculation on what he would do, whether he would strike back at the party and how.
"The high command sometimes has to take decisions in the interest of the party on the basis of feedback received from legislators and the general public. I also personally believe that the Congress president chooses the Chief Minister only after hearing many leaders," Mr Gehlot said. "In such times, the responsibility of all Congress leaders increases in the interest of the country. We have to rise above ourselves and think in the interest of the party and the country," the Rajasthan Chief Minister said.
कैप्टन साहब पार्टी के सम्मानित नेता हैं एवं मुझे उम्मीद है कि वो आगे भी पार्टी का हित आगे रखकर ही कार्य करते रहेंगे। pic.twitter.com/4bPmB4T3bP— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) September 19, 2021
Mr Singh's resignation comes months before assembly elections are due in Punjab, and the new Chief Minister will have a lot of ground to cover once the leader takes charge.
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar and MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa are possible names for the top post. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa are reportedly also in running.
The Congress has an option to return to a formula of having two deputy chief ministers.
Amarinder Singh has ruled out accepting Navjot Sidhu as his successor and left the door open on leaving the Congress. "Navjot Singh Sidhu is an incompetent man. He was a total disaster in my government. He couldn't run one ministry I gave him. He did not clear files for seven months," the former Chief Minister, popularly known as Captain, told NDTV on Saturday.