Leadership change in Punjab? Leaders arrive in state ahead of key MLA meeting today
The gathering might cause Chief Minister Amarinder Singh problems, targeted by groups who want him removed from power. The Chief Minister is said to be visiting his loyalist MLAs at his home in Mohali before the significant meeting.
In the Congress' Punjab unit, there is a new spark. The Congress has called for a critical meeting of its Punjab legislators today, citing "representation from a significant number of MLAs" in a late-night tweet. The gathering might cause Chief Minister Amarinder Singh problems, targeted by groups who want him removed from power. The Chief Minister is said to be visiting his loyalist MLAs at his home in Mohali before the significant meeting.
Harish Rawat, the Congress's Punjab in-charge, took to Twitter to say: "The AICC has received a request from a significant number of Congress MLAs in Punjab to hold a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) as soon as possible. As a result, a CLP meeting has been called for September 18 at 5 p.m. at the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters. The AICC instructs the PPCC to organise this meeting. All Punjab Congress MLAs are respectfully urged to attend this conference."
In his post, Rawat also mentioned Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, and Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu. Navjot Sidhu, who has continued to criticise his Chief Minister, reposted Harish Rawat and then tweeted that a meeting had been arranged. The central observers for the Punjab conference will be Harish Rawat and Ajay Maken.
Last month, four ministers and over two dozen lawmakers from the Punjab Chief Minister's party filed a slew of complaints against him, claiming that they had lost trust in his capacity to keep election pledges. The Congress has been putting a veneer of unity and collaboration over the disagreements between the two main leaders in the state unit. After weeks of infighting and despite significant opposition from Captain Amarinder Singh, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu was named Punjab Congress leader in July. He's been a vocal opponent of the state government. Sidhu has been criticising the administration for not following through on pre-election pledges just over a month after taking office. The Congress has been facing leadership difficulties in Punjab, which is fast turning into a political sinkhole for the grand old party, while having just a small number of states in its portfolio.