New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the intensified political turmoil in Punjab, former Cheif Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who announced his departure from the Congress party yesterday, responded to Congress' Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat's remarks stating that the grand old party didn't humiliate him and that he is under some sort of pressure.

Reacting to the remarks, Captain Amarinder Singh rejected Harish Rawat's claims and allegations, which he said were clearly prompted by the pathetic situation the party now found itself in the state after being on a winning spree for four and a half years.

"The world saw the humiliation and the insult heaped on me, and yet Rawat is making claims to the contrary," he said adding that, "Rawat himself had publicly stated after meeting him that that the 2022 elections would be fought under my leadership and the high command had no intention of replacing me".

"So how can he now claim that the party leadership was dissatisfied with me, and if they were, then why did he deliberately keep me in the dark all this time?" the army veteran asked.

Ridiculing Rawat's remarks that he seemed to be under pressure, the former CM said the only pressure he had been under for the past few months was that of his own loyalty to the Congress, because of which he continued to tolerate insult after insult.

"If the party did not intend to humiliate me then why was Navjot Singh Sidhu allowed to openly criticise and attack me on social media and other public platforms for months? Why did the party give the rebels, led by Sidhu, a free hand in undermining my authority? Why was no cognizance given to the uninterrupted spree of electoral wins I handed over to the party through the four and a half years I was in the saddle?" he said.

Reacting to Rawat's comment regarding his secular credentials, Amarinder Singh said even his worst critics and enemies could not doubt his integrity in this regard. "But I am no longer surprised that a senior and seasoned Congress leader like Rawat is questioning my secular credentials. It is quite evident that I am no longer trusted and respected in the party that I have served loyally all these years," he added.

Earlier in the day, Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat said that Amarinder Singh's "proximity" with BJP leaders like Amit Shah puts a question mark on his secular credentials and warned the Centre not to attempt toppling a majority government in the state.

Alleging that the former Punjab chief minister was playing into the hands of people with whom he had no ideological ties, Rawat said Singh should have stood with the Congress leadership to save democracy. "His proximity with (Union home minister) Amit Shah and some other BJP leaders puts his secular credentials in doubt," he said.

Rebutting allegations that the party had humiliated Singh, Rawat said it always gave him respect. "Amarinder Singh was Punjab Congress president thrice and chief minister twice. Is it humiliation? He should compare himself with senior party leaders who had got much less than him in terms of opportunities," the former Uttarakhand chief minister said.

"At a time when the country faces the challenge of saving democracy, Amarinder Singh should have stood with (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi and strengthened her fight to save democratic values instead of playing into the hands of people who are using his so-called humiliation for political reasons," Rawat said.

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan